Beer Pairings with Easter Dinner
Planning on the traditional ham dinner for Easter - thinking of a Belgian with dinner although part of me says Hefeweizen, and Darkness with dessert. Thoughts?
Beer matching ideas often surprise... negatively.
I can say this... wheat beers are the "riesling" of beers, they tend to match alot of foods.... They aren't powerfully flavored or sticky on the palate, in fact just the opposite, with a moderate flavor and palate-cleansing effect. Ever notice that some great wheats have a natural lemony or clove-y flavor? I think that also is a built-in flavor enhancer, much the same as a squeeze of fresh lemon enhances many many foods...
All this is leading up to my blind recco here... when in doubt, go for the hefeweizen... Basic Konig-Ludwig is an archetypal wheat IMO, but you can also go with any number of other great imports and domestic microbrew wheats... please report back.
Ended up having a bottle of Epic Smoked and Oaked Belgian that had been sitting in the cellar for the past year - went well with dinner. Dessert was cheesecake and I thought that Darkness might be a little much, so I went with Peruvian Morning. No complaints from anyone.
I know that hefeweizen is year round, but I just couldn't do it with snow on the ground, just seemed wrong!
Thanks for the input.
re: Slightly Grey
Personally I don't drink hefeweizen by itself year-round... to me it's more of a warm or moderate-weather beer; and absolutely the best hot-weather beer.
But the topic addressed the food matching of beer, not the seasonality. For example, I'd drink a hefeweizen with Thai food in the middle of winter, b/c it's the best beer match with that cuisine.
Somewhat hard to suggest something without knowing more specifics (e.g. country ham or standard pink industrial ham? sauced, glazed, etc?).
He'brew's current Jewbelation release, Sweet Sixteen, might be a good match if you're doing a sweeter preparation. It's a big, malty beer, 16% ABV and massive flavor profile. The burnt sugar flavors would be nice with a sweeter glazed pork dish.
If you have access to Russian River beers, Damnation is an excellent pairing for many dishes. Belgian golden ale with very clean flavors and restrained phenols. It has a spice component from the yeast, but not overpowering.
I'm probably a little late for this..pairing beer with Easter Dinner is similar to pairing wine - the food is one part of the equation, but the company/people you're sharing the meal with is another. So unless you're drinking by yourself these beers, consider the other people at the table - will they drink complex beers or will simple tried and true be better? Overall, I think different beers pair with different components of the meal, but the higher the alcohol of the beer, the more filling..and you might want an extra slice of ham, so go with beers under 7% alcohol or so - Cheers!