Beer and food. A simple idea that holds so many combinations. Long has the sommelier been held as the authority of wine and food, but even they will admit the shortcomings or limitations of vino. One aspect of beer, in particular, that surpasses wine is the effervescence of the carbonation on the tongue, which can be your saviour when it comes to spicy dishes.
At Tenaya Creek, we have food trucks on any given Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday. Check out our facebook event calendar to see who is serving during the week! For our example, though, let’s say it’s noon and you want to bring some lunch over from La Cabana; a great Mexican restaurant around the corner from our new digs. You get your favorite dish and add some of their spicy salsa to kick the food up a notch. That moment happens when you need to exhale a little as your sinuses start to loosen up from the heat. I’d suggest our award winning Pilsner for your glass.
With the lack of fruitiness, roasted or malty flavors, it is simplicity that makes the true Pilsner a wonderful beer to pair up with any spicy foods. The sharp carbonation has a cleansing effect on the tongue. Quite literally lifting the capsaicin oil (concentration of heat) right off the tongue making for a clean counterbalance to your spicy meal. The Czech style Pilsner will cut through any flavors you might find in your burrito: salsa, beans, cheese, and sour cream. And on top of cutting the heat, the bitterness brought to the mouth can open your taste buds to a whole other world of flavors that were there the whole time. Now you’re pairing beer with food.
There are so many different options when it comes to the X style of food with Y style of beer. Ultimately, there are no rules to follow, but your taste is created through experimentation, in my experience. I tend to keep lighter foods with lighter beer and heavier meals with robust beers. If I am grilling a fillet of Salmon, a chocolate porters is probably not going to be the best choice. Though I will tell you @ziafoodco challenged even that notion when he made a reduction out of our Bonanza brown ale, doctored it up, then used it as a sauce on some Poke he made. It was amazing!
Now you try.
By Steve Fernandez