“Funk and sour is the new hops,” or so I’ve heard. Lots of local breweries are working on a funk or sour program, and both Coppertail and Green Bench have foeders of their own for oak-aging their beers. Hype or not, most of the worlds great breweries maintain these programs and some of them for hundreds of years. Tangent Brewing, one of Tampa’s up-and-coming breweries, intends to lead the bay area in the production of sour and Brettanomyces beers. I asked Rodney to write up an introduction to some funky and sour beers in an easily accessible manner – and what better way to do that than with cheese and dessert pairings? Enjoy the pairing suggestions, and if you have a chance, look for Tangent at an upcoming beer fest. They’re pouring at the best of them, including during Tampa Bay Beer Week.
Egg and Kegs is a beer-based brunch served at Tampa’s Cigar City brewery on the third Sunday of every month. A recent menu included: country ham and espresso red-eye gravy made with CCB’s Cubano Espresso brown ale; southern cajun shrimp; jalapeno cheese grits; baked french toast with CCB rum barrel aged Caffe Americano double stout caramel sauce. The meals usually include pours of well-paired beers and additional related beers are available on draught.
Tampa chef-cum-entrepreneur John Loscalzo created the Eggs and Kegs series in 2009. John writes:
In 2009, I needed a creative outlet for my love of food, cooking, and community. Being a special education teacher, I knew it was nearly impossible to add a full time cooking gig to my plate.
My motivation was to create social events and dinners that were designed to showcase unique businesses and incorporate local ingredients and beverages while providing an awareness of sustainability within the community. After talking with local business owners about my concept and researching shared kitchen spaces, LOKO Cuisine was created. I was able to support local businesses through food featuring my culinary creations. I have collaborated with businesses such as Cigar City Brewing, Yuengling Brewery, Bells Brewery, Highland Brewery, The Wild Rover Brewery, Late Start Brewing, Brewers’ Tasting Room, Jonathan Wakefield Brewing, Florida Avenue Ales, Rock Brothers Brewing, Hideaway Café, Felicitous Tea & Coffee Shop, World of Beer, The Florida Aquarium, Exalted Warrior Foundation & Yogani, Mr. Empanada, Cappy’s Pizza, Cork & Olive, Lit Lounge and Tampa Street Market.
John’s Eggs and Kegs events are a staple of local Tampa beer culture. Look for them on the third Sunday of each and every month, usually at Cigar City.
See also: BEE-B-Q events; a 4-course dinner series hosted by Cigar City Cider and Meadery.
Check out the Loko Cuisine website at: http://www.lokocuisine.com/
- When: usually the third Sunday of the Month, brunch-o’clock
- Where: Cigar City
- How much: $25/head
In the olden days back in Minnesota, before I was officially “of drinking age,” we used to celebrate the poultry centric holiday with a few glasses of “Franzia Blush”…out of a box. But hey it sure beat Michelob Golden Light out of a can, Blatz, and this other tableside staple referred to in our family as “Morgan Davis” (Mogen David wine.) Try asking for “Morgan Davis” at a liquor store and let the ridicule begin, I know firsthand.
Thankfully, I discovered the joy of craft beer (then called microbrew) around the time Nirvana’s “Smells like teen spirit” started blaring out of my maroon Dodge 600’s windows. After the light-bulb went on a six pack or three of Summit Brewing’s finest would be hidden away in the basement refrigerator of my parent’s home. A few brave relatives would even ask for a pull (or a whole bottle), usually after a few glasses of liquid courage poured out of a box. Strangely this event occurred each year around the time John Madden and Pat Summerall dug into the turducken.
Twenty some years and 1500 miles later our Thanksgiving traditions have changed. Being down in Florida with my longtime sweetheart Lisa, and with her sister and family in close proximity, our large family gatherings are now much smaller. Gone are the lefse (which is a tasty Norwegian potato flatbread), and thank goodness- the pickled herring and the odiferous lutefisk are no longer with us. Vino still makes an appearance but it comes in the form of a decent and user friendly red.
Craft beer now dominates our Thanksgiving hooch bounty for a couple of different reasons. We really enjoy it for one and quality suds pair extraordinarily well with food. Also homebrew is poured through more taps than I’m willing to admit and somebody has to pretend like they enjoy it.
According to legend, one of the main reasons those thirsty pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock was because they ran out of ale. So we’re actually celebrating the spirit of the holiday when we crack open another frosty cold one. That excuse is usually recited later in the evening.
Anyway on to the food and beer
Smoked turkey breast is the protein du jour. Two or three boneless breasts grace the table and one is injected with apple juice and at least one is injected with Frank’s Red Hot sauce-the original buffalo wing sauce. Liberally dry-rubbed, they are smoked over apple wood.
Delicate with fruit overtones and moderately smoky, they do best with a brew doesn’t overpower. Belgian (and American) wits and strong ales both pair perfectly, the fruity esters (from the yeast) really compliment the meat. Allagash White, and Florida Brewing Co.’s Key West Sunset Wheat are solid selections as is Delirium Tremens.
Many flavors are contained within the plethora of side dishes. Sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, and stuffing all surround the good bird. Food friendly and versatile ambers, reds, pale ales, and brown ales work well. New Belgium’s Fat Tire, Cigar City’s Maduro Brown, and Summit Brewing Co.’s Extra Pale Ale fit the bill.
Rich deserts, usually in the form of Pecan and Pumpkin pie, complete the caloric odyssey and a special brew is required to help wash down all that decadence. Pumpkin beers make wonderful choices, as do winter warmers, chocolate beers, fruit beers, and Wee Heavies. Stouts and porters do the trick too. Tampa Bay Brewing Co.’s Gourds Gone Wild, Pensacola Bay’s Lighthouse Porter, Great Divide’s Claymore Scotch Ale, Rogue’s Chocolate Stout, and of course Cigar City’s Hunahpu Stout do those pies proud. To counteract that tryptophan and stay away for that second NFL game pick up a growler of Dunedin Brewery’s Biere’ de Café.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving and cheers!
Giving Thanks for Beer
Each year we invite all of our friends that don’t have Thanksgiving plans over for a big group meal. Each person brings his or her favorite dish, which is served family-style during dinner. Since all of our friends happen to be homebrewers, coincidentally or not, it turned into a tradition for each guest to bring their favorite homebrew to enjoy with dinner.
With a huge selection of homebrews to choose from, as well as a wide variety of dishes, we quickly adopted another tradition of finding the perfect homebrews to pair with our Thanksgiving meal. The complex flavors found in a traditional Thanksgiving meal lend to a wide variety of beer pairings, but finding the perfect pairing is easy when following a few simple guidelines.
For home brewers and craft beer lovers, beer is a staple in any major event, so knowing how to strategically plan a beer pairing can turn a good holiday gathering into a great one.
The simplest approach is to choose one great beer that will pair well with the entire meal. Consider the overall theme of your dishes and find a common flavor profile to work with. Most Thanksgiving dishes are prepared in the oven or on the stovetop, which automatically creates a common ground: caramelization. The subtle malt character in Bier de Gardes compliments the sweet tones brought forward from caramelization, plus the versatility of the style allows it to pair nicely with almost any home-cooked meal.
If, like us, you have a slew of beers to choose from, then you may want to consider each dish individually.
For those sticking to the traditional main dish of turkey and stuffing, one of our favorite pairings is a nice American Brown Ale. The Heights’ Brown available in our taproom is a well-balanced brown that holds its own against all hearty dishes. Alternatively, a clean, light wheat beer, such as Kelly’s Belgian Wit, will compliment the meat without overshadowing it and makes a great partner for cranberry sauce.
Side dishes such as green bean casserole and mashed potatoes sit nicely alongside the turkey in pairing with the brown, but they also work well with an English Bitter or an English IPA.
Try baking a loaf of home-made bread with your favorite beer in lieu of baker’s yeast for an extra special touch to the meal. Any style can be used, but we’d recommend one that goes along with the others being served during the meal.
For dessert, spiced pumpkin ales or winter warmers are a perfect fit for seasonal pies such as pumpkin, sweet potato, and pecan.
If time is running out and you still can’t pick the perfect pairing, then join in on our tradition and challenge your guests to bring their favorite brews to pair with dinner!
About Southern Brewing & Winemaking
Southern Brewing & Winemaking is a homebrew and winemaking supply shop, as well as a microbrewery with a taproom and biergarten, owned by huband and wife Brian and Kelly Fenstermacher. Offering over 100 grains, 50 types of hops, dozens of wine kits, and all the equipment that goes along with it, Southern Brewing & Winemaking is the largest homebrew and winemaking supply shop in the Tampa Bay area. Southern Brewing & Winemaking brings in weekly food trucks and musicians, offers monthly classes on home brewing, and hosts several group brew days throughout the year in their newly redesigned biergarten.
The Thanksgiving holiday is a great time of the year for the family at Three Palms Brewing. Like many other families, we love to cook a huge meal and eat until we are comfortably full(or stuffed, lol). Our meal typically consists of turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, pan fried and turkey stuffing for our main course and pumpkin pie for dessert.
In addition to the food, craft beer is a big part of our Thanksgiving day celebration of course! This Thanksgiving day, before our meal, we will start with the Three Palms Brewing Morning Pourage American Stout coming in at 4.7% ABV. With coffee like notes, medium body, and dry finish, this makes for a great pre Thanksgiving meal beer that goes well with a cinnamon roll. Once the Thanksgiving feast is ready to hit the table, we will pour ourselves a pint of our Pindo IPA. The aroma from the hops, citrus and tropical fruit notes and slightly sweet malt profile will bring the Thanksgiving feast together in harmony.
After some time of relaxing and watching football, we will work our way to the dessert tray. Of course before we do so, we will pour ourselves a snifter of our Sir Albert’s Reserve American Imperial Stout. The full body and chocolate notes of this beer as well as slight alcohol warming at 9.4% ABV make it a great candidate to pair with a piece of home made pumpkin pie. We currently have the beer mentioned to take home in growlers(while supplies last) so you too can enjoy your Thanksgiving feast as we do at Three Palms Brewing! Either way, have a safe and fun holiday, Cheers!