Thanks for stopping in to check out this new feature on OC Beer Blog! Each week, I will focus on a beer brewed in Orange County, talk a little bit about it, and suggest something fun to pair with it. Note that it may not always be food! Sometimes it may be paired with an album, a movie, or hell, even a festive blueberry flavored glow-in-the-dark condom. Today? Not so much. I’m starting out the new feature with The Bruery’s Vitis Series: Oui Oui paired with food from the craft beer friendly restaurant Carolinas Italian in Anaheim.
As The Bruery’s Reserve Society opens up for sale on 10/25, what better way start things off than a beer that came to me via the Reserve Society 2012. Oui Oui is a one-off American Wild Ale brewed with Chardonnay grapes. From the Bruery’s Website:
For Oui Oui we used a first running press of Chardonnay grapes from the central coast and added them to our sour blonde ale. The beer was then aged in oak barrels that had originally been used to store wine, imparting even more of that chardonnay-like quality.
To pair, I crack the bottle and and decide on a zippy Italian seafood dish; Scallops Pomodoro from Carolinas Italian Food in Anaheim. If you’ve never been, Carolinas has a ten page beer menu sorted by region of the world…over 286 beers! As craft beer becomes more of a ‘thing’ in OC, keep in mind Carolinas has been operating like this for over 30 years!
Pouring the beer into a flute glass, even the most aggressive pour coaxes no head. The carbonation is aces for the style, lending a vinous mouthfeel that is dry, sour and satisfying. Chardonnay grapes, funk and plenty of sour cling to your teeth well after a sip. Licking your teeth well after gives continued beer flavor, and also lets your partner know you’re feeling randy! Any beer that coats your palate and lingers makes a great beer to pair with food. This is such a pleasant sour, I wish I would have gotten another one!
As a pairing: The beer accentuates the basil, complements the acidity of the tomato, and cleanses the rich garlic pasta from the palate. My wife added some capers from the fridge which really brought the dish and the pairing to a whole new level. If you still have a Oui Oui sitting in your cellar, any dish with basil, capers, or some light acidity is a perfect match. Strong cheese is also a great option to match intensity.
Overall: I’ve always had trouble pairing a sour beer with food as I disagree with those that say to match acidity with acidity. A highly acidic sour + an acidic dish = puckered punum and heartburn. I look for a dish that is simple, light and fresh. Salad, seafood, tomatoes, bruschetta, super stinky cheese, fried green tomatoes, or shrimp cocktail are some other ideas to pair with a sour beer.
Other stuff: The Bruery Provisions is kicking off a week-long Harvest with events every night, check their site for details. The Bruery Reserve Societe goes on sale 10/25. Bottles of Black Tuesday go on sale 10/30.