food.pairing: Bonfire Rauchbier

Sam Adams rauchbier bonfire

Beer: Bonfire Rauchbier (5.7%)

Brewery: Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Company)

Style: Rauchbier

Serving: Pilsner or Stange glass @ 45°-50°

General description and suggestion: The most identifiable characteristic of rauchbiers besides its crystal clear copper color and thick creamy head is its smoky aroma and flavor.  The smoky aroma and flavor comes from wood kilned malt. The aromas can range from smoky bonfire-like to bacon-like but understand that the intensity of this smoky characteristic can vary quite a bit among producers. The flavor of the rauchbier should be full of rich malt (think toast), moderate hop bitterness and a fairly dry finish with a clean lager character.  The smoke flavor can quite a bit among producers, as well. I recommend you so start with this mainstream example and work your way up in intensity to avoid burning out your patience for this beer style.

This beer pairs well with a variety of BBQ, sharp cheeses and grilled meat.  While this beer pairs well with other smoked food items I find it can become too smoky so I like to use this beer AS the smoke element/layer.

Specific description and suggestion: Vegetarian Enchiladas

This was a fantastic pairing! The enchiladas were prepared with traditional enchilada sauce and potato and mole’ filling.   I added spice to the dish with a chunky jalapeno guacamole. The beer’s moderate hopping and carbonation bump up the spicing a notch momentarily before the malt sweetness can counteract the spice. The beer’s smoky aroma and flavor adds a wonderful layer to the enchiladas (think chipotle) and creates yet another tasting experience that is much greater than the sum of its ingredients.

Now I would like to thank Callie for the wonderful enchiladas.  I wouldn’t have discovered this wonderful pairing if it weren’t for you and your delicious enchiladas.

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