When I joined Ratebeer.com over a year ago, one of the first things I learned was that many more styles of beer existed than I had previously reckoned. There are in fact, 73 different styles of beer lovingly crafted for your enjoyment. So far I’ve worked through 65 different styles, with sours ranking as my favorite for its unique complexities and delightful inconsistencies across this particular style. However, belgian strong ales take the cake for the beer I seem to drink the most. Anyways, here is the rundown of the Mighty 73. Look them up on RateBeer for the deluge of descriptions.
Abbey Dubbel/Abbey Tripel
American Dark Lager
American Pale Ale
American Strong Ale
Belgian Strong Ale
Belgian White (Witbier)
Bière de Garde
Classic German Pilsener
English Pale Ale
English Strong Ale
Golden Ale/Blond Ale
Imperial Pils/Strong Pale Lager
India Pale Ale (IPA)
Lambic – Faro
Lambic – Fruit
Lambic – Gueuze
Lambic – Unblended
Malt Liquor — edward 40 hands is the only reason to drink this, and probably not even then.
Scotch Ale — if you value your life, don’t EVER call a Scottish person a Scotch…a person is not something you drink, unless you’re a vampire.
So what if all the rum’s gone….you’ve got 73 types of beer to choose from, so drink up me hearties, yo ho!
Over my birthday weekend, the program I was studying with in Milan took us to Parma for a Culture/Cuisine Trip where we toured the Parmigiano Reggiano factory and watch the magic unfold. I bought a solid 5 lbs. of cheese but the only thing that was missing was a good tart sour ale like Jolly Pumpkin Perseguidor, Rodenbach Grand Cru or perhaps an impy like Victory Storm King Imperial Stout. Here’s a quick run through of the process that goes into parmesan cheese:
The head cheese of the Parmagiano Reggiano factory, separating extra whey to be fed to the piggies.
Skimming the cheese with a wooden rod to check consistency.
Bagging the cheese in cloth to drain before being pressed into the molds.
Brine bath where the proteins and little fat basically cure and harden until aging begins.
Cheese cheeeese gloriousss cheeeeeeseeeeee!!!
Back in the States, I’ve had some very good cheese from La Cave du Vin and Whole Foods. At La Cave I ordered a bleu and brie board with a Great Divide Hercules IPA. The maximum hoppy happiness of the pint worked well against the funky and very sweet smooth cheeses. From Whole Foods I enjoyed a beautiful smoked creamy gouda with a Cantillon Gueuze.
A few weeks ago, I tried my hand at pairing an interesting beer list around a dinner prepared by a friend. I knew my audience: 11 friends and some family, a few winos and some dedicated but uneducated hopheads. The menu was a delicious hodge-podge: Cambodian chicken rice (details below), bbqed thick cut steaks, chickpea salad and for dessert crepes with homemade walnut frangipane.
To whet our appetites I started the diners off with a personal hop favorite, Bell’s Hopslam (only downside is the pricey nature of a 6-pack so go singles and mix it up with other hoppy friends like Thirsty Dog Hoppus Maximus, etc.).
Beer truly made its place known at our table and garnered the attention of everyone. To compliment the juicy chargrilled steaks: Lakefront Organic ESB. For the spicyness of both the Cambodian chicken rice and the chickpea salad a bottle of Saison Dupont Vielle Provision and a Cantillon Gueuze – the tartness of both played off the spicyness and citrus aspect complimented the ingredients of the salad well. Dessert was incredibly rich and very sweet, so in order to pay respect to this classic French sweet I served up small doses of Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout. LIke a shot of coffee as an aperatif, this brew is lavish but bitter enough to stand beside the crepe. Hell, you could pour this over vanilla ice cream and call it a night.
CAMBODIAN CHICKEN RICE:
Saute in a large and decently deep skillet one large yellow onion and a large garlic clove in olive oil over medium heat
Over the sauteed onions and garlic toss in 3 large chicken breasts cut in bite size pieces
As soon as the chicken starts to turn from pink to white start coating the surface of the entire pan with turmeric, cayenne, ground or fresh shredded ginger and black pepper. Alter the spice amount depending on your spice threshold. Add in about a cup of fish sauce (you can find this around the soy sauce at any large grocery store) and half a bag of frozen or fresh peas.
At the same time you start the process of the chicken and spices, start making a few cups of white rice depending on how much or how little rice you want to eat with your creation. Once this is prepared (the simplest way I’ve found is just taking another large skillet over medium heat, throwing in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook the rice until it starts to turn translucent around the edges and then start adding water, let it cook out and then add more until the rice is al dente).
Once the rice is complete turn back to your chicken stew and toss in a can of coconut milk and the rice and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Serve up with some lime wedges and cilantro.