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In addition lacing up your White Buck Oxfords, Memorial Day weekend is also the time to officially scrub down and fire up the grill. And while there is season enough to put a flame under eggplant slices, skewered tofu, marinated portabellas, and the like, for this weekend I want a slab of something substantial, sentient even. But what brew to serve? I went deep to some local experts and got the following beer pairing recommendations for 2011’s opening salvo in the war on underindulgence:
If You're Grilling: Beef, Sausages, Ribs
Pair it With: 21st Amendment's North Star Red (an American Amber Ale) or Back in Black (a black IPA) or Magnolia Pub & Brewery's Spud Boy IPA
21st Amendement co-Founders Shaun O’Sullivan and Nico Freccia recommend a growler of either their North Star Red or Back in Black. North Star Red is a rich malty amber that levels the char of the meat. Back in Black has notes of pine and roasted malt that complement the flavors of grilled beef while balancing out the juiciness with a fine hop bitterness.
Dave McLean, Brewmaster at Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery recommends a growler of Spud Boy, an English IPA, which has a crisp hop character and touch of caramel malt that drinks well with savory grilled meats.
If You're Grilling: Salmon
Eric Cripe, Cicerone and Jug Shop Beer and Spirits Manager, suggests this edgy Belgian Blonde brewed with Brettanamyces, the wild yeast best known for fouling up good bottles of wine. This beer is full blown sour with earthy citrus and tropical pineapple aromas wound tight around a serious funkiness. This style of beers tends to be polarizing, but those that love it have a hard time going back to anything else. The acid in this Belgian will scrub the palate; the alpha counterpart to the omega-3 in the fish.
If You're Grilling: Chicken
Pair it With: Double Daddy IPA from Speakeasy
Kushal Hall, Head Brewer at Speakeasy Ales and Lagers, recommends this Imperial India Pale Ale. Towering pine and a mouthful of malt hold up well to spicier chicken dishes. For a mild herb rub or light BBQ sauce, Hall suggests the more domesticated style of Prohibition Amber.