by Malia Paasch
If we look at a map of Europe and plot out the wine countries (like France and Italy) and then the ones known for beer (like Germany and England), you quickly notice how the climate and topography divide Europe into wine regions and beer regions.
This divide goes so far back in history that it even influenced the expansion of the Roman Empire. The Romans, it is said, were not interested in conquering any land that did not produce their beloved wine.
True? Who knows? But that certainly would not have been the case if the tribes of Northern Europe had the vast and flavorful beer options we do today.
That’s why one of my favorite challenges at The Birch is finding a beer for wine drinkers. It’s not really that hard. I start by asking them what kind of wines they like and then use that taste profile to track down the right offering. My reward is having the wine drinker asks incredulously, “This is beer?”
Below are my recommendations for wine drinkers to venture over to the beer side, you might be a beer drinker after all!
Allagash Brewing Company
Appearance: Pale yellow with golden highlights and a bright white diminishing head
Aroma: Soft floral, classic wild yeast smell, touch of honey and yogurt
Taste: Dry with hints of melon and cucumber, very refreshing, hint of cereal at the finish
Mouthfeel: Slight bitter finish but dry
Drinkability: This would be my recommendation for a white wine drinker.
Food Pairing: Arugula salad with citrus vinaigrette
Bersalis Sour Blend
Appearance: Golden orange with yellow highlights and ivory head
Aroma: Grassy, banana, slightly sweet
Taste: Subtle banana and apricot notes
Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a delightful bubbly tingle
Drinkability: This would be my recommendation for champagne or sparkling wine drinkers.
Food Pairing: Cheese or roasted oysters
Palo Santo Marron
Dogfish Head Brewery
Appearance: Deep dark brown with ruby highlights and a creamy tan head
Aroma: Smells like a barrel stave, with hints of molasses
Taste: Rich and complex with notes of caramel and dates
Mouthfeel: Very smooth with a warm finish
Drinkability: This is a smooth sipper and my recommendation for port or sherry lovers.
Food Pairing: Bread pudding or with a cigar
Appearance: Hazy sienna brown in color with a light tan head
Aroma: Slightly sweet with notes of white raisins and caramel
Taste: White grapes, light madeira flavor, brown sugar with hints of apple cider vinegar
Mouthfeel: Silky and smooth, clean finish
Drinkability: This goes down easy and the intriguing flavors keep bringing you back for more. This would be my recommendation for a lighter red wine drinker.
Food Pairing: Steak with potatoes