Pairing Venn and Imperiale with Holiday DishesNov 25, 2014 Comments (1)
Here’s a little known fact about our founding brewer: Jamie loves good food ALMOST as much as he loves good beer. He loves cooking it, baking it, eating it, sharing it with friends, and lucky for all of you: pairing it with the perfect beer.
To help us all prepare for some great holiday feastin’, Jamie grabbed a bottle of our newest lager and a bottle of our latest special release and gave us more than a couple of ideas of what to serve with each beer. We recommend grabbing a pen and a very large piece of paper to start drafting your grocery list for Thursday's dinner.
Let’s start with our Dortmund-Style Lager, Venn. Or, as Jamie likes to call it: “the easiest pairing beer for holidays and really all other days.”
This crisp, balanced beer is a great companion for many of your favorite seasonal dishes from the savory start to the sweet finish.
Jamie tell us that Venn is especially good with cheese plates. Fill that platter up with harder German cheeses, Gouda (he says “smoked or not”, we say why choose?) Bries, fancy Swiss varietals like Emmentaler, Gruyere, Havarti and those tangy cheese balls you see at every holiday party. If you want to beef up that cheese plate with a little meat, you can’t go wrong with cured meats like Soppresata, Salumi, and Prosciutto. You can also get real fancy and add some Pâté and terrine to the mix. And if you want to get a little less fancy, throw some lil’ smokies on the grill and serve them alongside our deliciously crisp lager. The salt in any of those meats really tighten up with the crispness of the Dortmund.
Once you’re stuffed full of cheese and ready to sit down for some dinner, you can pair a cold Venn with a number of steamy soups including potato leek, clam chowder, beer cheese or butternut squash. This easy-drinker also goes well alongside sweet potatoes, green bean salads, stuffing, turkey gravy and acorn squash.
As far as main dishes are concerned, it’s not a bad idea to grab something super dark to balance out this super light beer. Jamie recommends a variety of gamey meats including venison, boar, pheasant, quail, partridge, and rabbit.
And our light lager also goes well with light entrees including all shellfish and salmon. If you’re looking to make your vegetarian friends happy, you can turn to something creamy and delicious like a pile of fettucini alredo or a pot pie.
If you still have room after indulging in all of that goodness, Venn is delightful with a number of lighter desserts. Jamie had us drooling with talk of custards, crème brulee, shortbread cookies, Russian tea cakes, buttery cookies, and lemon tarts.
And Venn is not just a delightful beer to pair with your holiday favorites, it also works beautifully as an ingredient in many dishes. Use it to steam shellfish, enhance your stuffing, make risotto or instead of wine for deglazing.
(Pause to wipe drool from keyboard.)
And moving on.
Let’s turn our attention to our much darker, much richer Imperiale. This imperial stout is surprisingly versatile and ready to enhance your holiday meals from the first course to the last.
Venn is not the only beer you can pair with cheeses. Imperiale’s rich flavors go well with rich cheeses like triple creams, many styles of blue cheese, aged cheddars and fondue. It can also be served with appetizer meats like meatballs.
For a main course, the richer the meat, the better. You can serve steak, bison, venison, board, prime rib, lamb or brisket with this stout. You can also get really crazy and use it as an ingredient for braising your meaty dishes.
In addition to all of that meaty goodness, Imperiale is delicious with latkes, shepherd’s pie, chili, hearty stews or cheddary beer cheese.
And when you’re ready to break out your spare stomach for dessert, this roasted, malty beer is a great match for chocolate cake, mousses, banana crème pie, pumpkin pie, black-bottomed pie, pecan pie, fudge and peanut butter fudge. Um, yeah. We’ll take two of each, please and thanks.
Like its lighter cousin, Imperiale is also a great ingredient for seasonal dishes. You can use it for braising, in your chilis, for aus ju sauces, as a replacement for some of the water in cake batters and for caramel reduction sauces (which, Jamie recommends also trying with Venn.)
And with that, go forth and feast! Make sure to come back and tell us all about it.