September 10, 2015 – Whether you’re at a tailgate or the dinner table, fall weather lends itself perfectly to a refreshing brew. You don’t have to be a professional to get the most out of your beer’s flavor profile – pairing it with the right fall dish will do just that.
Michael Agnew, Certified Cicerone, is here to start you off with some delicious duos. Read what he has to say about pairing your ALDI brew with one of our festively fall Test Kitchen recipes:
Kinroo Blue with Braised Chicken Thighs with Fall Fruits and Sauvignon Blanc
A fruity and refreshing Belgian witbier like Kinroo Blue is often thought of as a summer brew. But a lighter dish incorporating late-season fruits lets you stretch its appeal into the fall. Matching the intensity of the beer and food is a must to building a good pairing.
Braising gives the Kirkwood chicken thighs a mild flavor that won’t overpower this light beer. But the real focus of this pairing is the fruit. Apricots, golden raisins, and cranberries add a juicy, sweet/tart component to the dish that complements the fruity citrus in the beer. The dollop of goat cheese on top brings a hint of bright acidity to complete the combination.
Revolution Harbor with Chicken and Pumpkin Soup
Pumpkin, spice, and sage – the ultimate sweet and savory flavor of fall. This rich creamy soup brings those tastes together in a combination that is hearty, but not too heavy – perfect for the in-between nature of the season.
With a similar weight and intensity, Revolution Harbor is a perfect match. The beer’s sweet caramel and buttered toast maltiness sits with the pumpkin like butter and brown sugar on roasted squash. Low notes of herbal hops cozy up to the fresh sage. There is just enough bitterness in the beer to keep the pairing from becoming too sweet.
Wild Range IPA with Top Sirloin with Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce
In the world of beer and food pairing, India Pale Ale (IPA) and blue cheese is a classic. Zesty citrus flavor from copious amounts of hops is a perfect foil to the pungent tang of blue cheese. IPA also happens to be great with seared steak. Caramelization on the outside of the meat complements the subtle malt sweetness in the beer. The beer’s assertive bitterness amplifies the steak’s meaty goodness. Hops also have the cutting power to clear away the creamy sauce and fat. You’ll end up with a fresh palate, ready to savor the next bite.
*Availability and price of alcoholic beverages vary by store.
Michael Agnew is a Certified Cicerone®. He conducts beer tastings, trainings, and beer dinners with his company A Perfect Pint. Michael writes a beer column for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and has published articles in several national beer magazines. His two books, Craft Beer for the Homebrewer and A Perfect Pint’s Beer Guide to the Heartland are available wherever books are sold.