don’t claim to be a beer expert, but man do I love a good brew. Microbreweries around the US tend to make seasonal offerings that I strive to find and try whenever I’m at the grocery or liquor store. Granted, my budget is that of a student, but I do my best. (I’m currently at around 120 different six packs, see my “beer wall” further down).
If you’ve never tried a seasonal, you’re missing out. Most good local bars will feature at least one or two seasonals from their favorite brewery. Around Columbia, expect to see the latest Schlafly, Boulevard, or New Belgium, and of course Flat Branch rotates their own selections.
Trying new beer is risky, but it’s not too dissimilar from trying new food. If someone tells you it’s good, you sometimes just gotta believe them. And trust me, I’ve spent good money on beers I’ve tried and regretted, but more often than not, I’ve been extremely happy with the learning process.
For a better example of this process at work, we’ve done a lot of soups and used many root vegetables this winter, and most of my beers have been stouts, porters, and bocks to match the weather. Somehow, a thick, deep, creamy stout makes you forget its 8 degrees outside, just like that soup does.
I’m not gonna pretend to be a sommelier of beers; I don’t really know what beer goes with what food outside of what I’ve tried, but if I get you to find a new beer to love, my job is done.
I love a good wheat beer/ hefeweizen almost year round, and if you’re having Mexican/South American food, a Pacifico or Caguama certainly does the trick, even in winter (we recently paired those beers with the roasted poblanos and andouille recipe and some fajitas we threw together). A solid pale ale, of Indian or American variety is always a good choice if you’re just having one or two at the bar (I love Two Brother’s offering, a Chicago brewery), and my personal favorite beer for movie watching is Left Hand’s Milkstout (available at Columbia’s RagTag, of course).
In the following weeks I’ll provide more insight into my experience with new and exciting beers, as well as updates to the beer wall (which is getting pretty large). Please feel free in any comments to leave suggestions. I’m all for weird ingredients and flavor combinations.
Behold, the Beer Wall.
I have about 10 boxes extra now, waiting for another 10 or so to put up on additional panel. This image is from Mid-October (I know, I’ve been slacking).