Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Beer Hunter

I love beer.

But I'm not one of those beer lovers who has zeroed in on a brand or a few beloved styles. Instead, I love to range through the (increasingly endless) varieties of beers and beer-like beverages. Often I'll go weeks or months without buying the same beer twice, not because I'm not finding anything I like, but because for me, variety is an end in itself.

When I eat ethnic food, I choose beers from the same country or culture as the food (thus, my mention of Taj Mahal in the IndiGo review), and if there's one I haven't had before, so much the better.

And when I go to the liquor store, I love nothing more than just browsing the specialty/craft/import beer section, looking for something that I haven't tried before, and that looks interesting. From time to time here, I'll tell you about my finds.

Tonight, it's the Espresso Oak Aged Yeti imperial stout from Great Divide Brewing Co. of Denver, Colorado. The suggested food pairings on the bottle menu include eggs Benedict and breakfast burritos, but I haven't yet had the Espresso Yeti for breakfast. Instead, I popped open a 1 pt 6 oz bottle of the espresso-infused stout a couple evenings ago and enjoyed it all on its own.

I lack the full vocabulary of a practiced beer taster, but Espresso Yeti delivered precisely the combination of bitterness and rich, creamy maltiness that I love in good stouts, and the espresso added a sharp, biting note. I couldn't explicitly tease out the vanilla notes the label attributes to the oak aging, but what I could taste was delightful. Since learning to poach an egg is one of the near-term goals of the Emerging Foodie project, perhaps I will try this with (homemade) eggs Benedict sometime soon. (FWIW, Great Divide has a blog that, while apparently not updated all that often, has some interesting-looking beer recipes.)

In the meantime, I've got a bottle of Great Divide's 16th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA chilling in the fridge... yum!

1 comment:

  1. At Keegan Ales 6th anniversary party (last year?? Years go by much too fast these days), they took their standard Mother's Milk and added espresso - and billed it as "Joe Mama" - aside from being amusing, the creation was wondrous. I understand they have put it on more or less permanent menu now.