Yesterday as I was pottering around in the sun with our dog, and enjoying a Francis’ Big Bangin’ IPA from McGargles (as you do), I saw a post from my friend Janice Dunne, co-host of the Irish Beer Snob Podcast on Twitter:
— Janice Dunne (@MrsBeerSnob) July 3, 2016
And it got me thinking; ‘Is there a perfect Sunday beer?’
To me, there are a few categories/types of Sundays:
- Summertime Sunday with BBQ
- Football/a.n.other sports Sunday
- Family Sunday with Roast Dinner
- Autumn Sunday
- Winter Sunday
- Bank Holiday weekend Sunday
And each of these really is so different in mood, food & energy. As I love to pair beer & foods (and sometimes make foods with beer – blog posts on this to come later), I thought – could I in-fact pair a beer sold in Ireland with these kinds of Sundays? I’ve decided to tackle these weekly to help people plan in advance of forthcoming Sundays.
Week 1 – The Sunday BBQ
BBQ’s in Ireland are fantastic. Sausages, Burgers, Ribs, Chicken, Steaks, Fish, potatoe salads, slaw, BBQ baked potatoes or onions, & Dad manning the BBQ like a chef-de-partie beer in hand engulfed in plumes of smoke from his BBQ. The smells of an Irish Summer BBQ at home are unforgettable. It’s usually either a gas BBQ (an affront to BBQ-ing in my personal opinion) or charcoal with woodchips (how it should always be done).
The sauces we use on our BBQ’s tend to be tomatoe based with sugars, spices, soy etc., so you’ve this great citrus-y, sweet & salty thing going on with the umami of red meat., or citrus/ginger/chili thing going on with Fish. Then there’s the salads, where the slaw is there to break up any sweetness in the BBQ sauce, or green salads to compliment the fish in terms of freshness.
Black IPA by Blacks of Kinsale is perfect with Burgers & red meats as the dark-coffee flavours in this IPA are a perfect match against the char you’ll get on the meats.
For white meats such as Turkey, Chicken or Pork, there’s a temptation to pair these with a nutty beer like a Brown Ale. But, I think a rye-beer goes better to compliment these as Turkey & Chicken are lean compared to pork, and pork is great for darker beers like Dunkels, but to give you one that suits fatty & lean white meats, I’d suggest Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye to contrast the white meats.
Fish is difficult to suggest a general beer for when it comes to BBQ’s. While the Irish approach is to go for salmon, trout and prawns, these are fairly diverse in their types. While salmon & trout are fairly close being lean fish with good fats in them from the same family, prawns are quite lean (and technically are crustaceans) & have a very different texture and flavour profile in how they’re cooked. In any case, commonly citrus & chili are often used on these, and where there’s citrus & chilli you really cannot go far wrong with a Kolsch. While Fruh would do the job if you can find it, Wicklow Wolf brew a cracking Kolsch called ‘Arcadia‘, which is light, & uses an ale yeast which I think helps with fish on a BBQ more than a Kolsch done traditionally.
Next week, I’m going to look at sporting Sundays & how you can make that Sunday sports gathering a better beering experience.