21 Jul / 2014
Everyone loves to grill in the summertime. Most put hours into the best marinade, making sure they have enough bacon to feed their carnivorous crowd, and perfecting their pasta salad recipe. The beer and wine to go with it is usually an afterthought, a quick trip to the corner store before the crowd arrives. We are here to bring your summer barbeques to THE NEXT LEVEL with amazing wine and beer pairings to go along with your favorite grilling staples.
Beer and Burgers
These two words just go so naturally together, like Fish & Chips or Coors Light & Beer Pong. Everyone loves a good summer burger and the jackpot of various flavors coming from a fresh-off-the-grill cheeseburger become even more delightful with the right beer.
The flavor profile of the cheeseburger has salt (meat), sweet (ketchup, tomato), sour (pickles, mustard), but is missing the bitter factor. We recommend rounding out your meal with a bitter beer, such as Sam Adam’s Rebel IPA, The Shed’s IPA, or one of our favorites to pair with a burger, Otter Creek’s Black IPA. Another delicious pairing for a burger is a porter, as the roasted malt flavor adds another dimension to the flavor profile of the burger. We recommend trying Switchback’s Dooley’s Belated Porter.
Wine and Burgers
If you’re like us, there’s nothing better than a nice, big glass of wine at the end of the day. If you’re grilling burgers, try pairing them with J. Lohr Estate’s Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon, Woodbridge’s Shiraz, or Boyden Valley’s Riberbed Red, which is similar to a Pinot Noir. All of these reds delight when drank with red meats.
Grilled chicken is one of the staples of summertime barbeques, and the variety of wine and beer that can be successfully paired with grilled chicken is seemingly endless. However, we wanted to share a few of our favorites with you to try out this summer!
Brown Lagers are the perfect choice for barbeque chicken and we suggest trying Newcastle’s Brown Ale. If you’re seasoning your chicken with a lot of herbs and citrus flavors, try pairing it with a light, citrus beer, such as Magic Hat’s Circus Boy Hefeweizen.
For wines, try pairing your favorite grilled barbeque dishes with Temptation Zinfandel, Simply Naked’s Chardonnay, or Little Black Dresses’ Riesling. All of these lighter wines compliment any flavor of grilled chicken you’re preparing this summer.
We saved the best for last: steak. No introduction or flavor profile needed, we all know the deliciousness that a fresh-off-the-grill steak brings to any meal. There are two great beer options to pair with steak: Porters and Brown Ales. Both offer a bitter contrast and rich flavor to go along with your steak. We suggest trying Switchback’s Dooley’s Belated Porter and Newcastle’s Brown Ale. If you’re looking to pair a nice glass of wine with your steak, try Temptation Zinfandel or J. Lohr Estate’s Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon.
What are your favorite booze & BBQ pairings for summer grilling? Please post them on our Facebook Page.
14 Jul / 2014
It seems as though everywhere we turn this summer, there’s someone standing there offering us an ice cold Shandy. “So refreshing” they say, “drink up!” This delicious and somewhat guilty-pleasure beverage has become so popular, we wanted to dig into its history and learn exactly where it came from.
Shandy is a long-time European drink that has just recently gained popularity in the United States. The general definition of a Shandy is a beer mixed with some sort of non-alcoholic entity: soda, ginger beer, juice, and what we’ve come to know and love – lemonade. There is no “right way” to make a Shandy and the proportions of the beer/non-alcoholic part are completely up to the drinker (or brewer).
There are more specific terms for a Shandy throughout the world, depending on the contents of the drink. Famous throughout Europe as a Radler, this drink consists of a mixture of various beer and soda/lemonade. A Biermischgetranke, popular in Germany, literally means ‘beer-based mixed drinks.’ Often these are made with low-alcoholic beers and are usually 50% beer and 50% German-style carbonated lemonade. In Spain, a Clara is 50% beer and 50% citrus soda. In many parts of Europe, a Diesel is beer mixed with Coca-Cola. A variety of countries have their own tradition with Shandy and their own name for the drink.
So why the recent popularity in the US? One theory is that people are looking to drink more without getting as intoxicated. Shandy, on average, has much less alcohol content than other beers – Often coming in around 4.2%, compared to a Sam Adam’s Summer Ale at 5.2%. It’s also extremely refreshing, combining two of the most satisfying beverages to drink on a hot summer day – Lemonade and beer. Regardless, it’s apparent from the rising numbers of producers and sales that Shandy is here to stay (at least for the summer).
Now, to talk about our favorites:
Sam Adams Porch Rocker: Like the name states, this refreshing beverage is the perfect pairing to a relaxing evening on the porch. The light, citrus taste is more subtle than other Shandy and is a definite summer go-to. 4.5% ABV
Jacob Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy: A fan favorite throughout the US, this drink boasts a combination of traditional wheat beer and refreshing lemonade flavor. This Shandy has a strong lemon taste and scent, making it perfect for the lemon enthusiast. 4.2% ABV
Curious Traveler Shandy: This local Burlington, Vermont, beer is a delightful combination of traditional Hallertau hops and both lemon and lime flavors. A light, citrusy taste, perfect for sipping by the lake. 4.2% ABV
Although enjoying a delicious Shandy is only a quick trip to your local store away, we wanted to give you all the fuel necessary to really lean into this lemon-beer fad. Here is a simple recipe to follow if you’re feeling enthusiastic enough to try making your own Shandy:
1. Start with choosing and pouring your beer. We recommend a lighter beer such as a wheat beer, larger, or pilsner.
2. Choose and pour your non-alcoholic part. Although this is typically lemonade, we recommend trying it with sparkling lemonade, citrus soda, or raspberry/cranberry lemonade. The choices are endless and all will result you in consuming delicious alcohol, so why not?
3. Gently stir. Don’t shake, obviously, because it’s beer and will become a foamy mess. We hope you know this already but have to tell you anyway.
4. Enjoy! Drink responsibly, of course.
What is your favorite Shandy to enjoy during the summer months? Please share on our Facebook Page.