food.pairing: Avery 18

avery, 18, anniversary

Beer: 18 (8.1 % ABV)

Brewery: Avery Brewing Company

Style: Saison

Serving: Tulip glass @ 40°-45°

General description and suggestion: Whether you are drinking a traditional strength (5% ABV or lower) or a more contemporary version (6% ABV or higher) Saisons should finish dry with very little sweetness.  Saisons aromas can be quite complex with a fruit and spice mixture reminiscent of barnyards. Typically their flavors will be malt balanced (leaning towards malt instead of hops) but peppery spice flavors from the yeast and the elevated carbonation levels create a beer with medium bitterness and a dry finish.

These beers pair well with all kinds of cheeses because the dry finish and elevated carbonation help to scrub the palate clean after each drink. Saisons will also pair well with salads that are tossed with spicy greens like arugula or light meats such as fish or poultry.  Spice these meats sparingly as the spices in the beer can add another layer of complexity to any dish.

Specific description and suggestion: This was an unexpected and quite delicious pairing discovery. Just because the general suggestions don’t mention a particular food item don’t be afraid to step outside the box and try something different.  I did just that with this pairing because the spices in “18” reminded me of cookies for some reason.  The spiciness of the rye and yeast phenols in this beer pair seamlessly with raisin, oatmeal cookies.

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