Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pretzel logic

Hops and pretzels ... what's their affinity?

I've just noticed this explanation on beer writer Stephen Beaumont's blog, and it makes sense. Hops "strip away" saltiness or spiciness, refreshing the palate for each successive morsel of pretzel.

And what of a malty beer with pretzels/salt? Stephen says no. Malt with salt creates an unpleasant, almost sour, flavor perception. More on pretzels and beer.

Photo was taken (not by me) at the Capitol City Brewing Company, Shirlington, Virginia location. It's of Brewer Mike McCarthy's Dunkelweizen served with the pub's tasty house-made soft pretzels. The side ramekin of horseradish dipping sauce brings the spiciness consistent with Beaumont's above thesis.

From time to time, Brewer McCarthy makes a fascinating Sour Puss (although don't match this with pretzels) fermented partially with brettanomyces yeast and cherries. Often simply referred to as brett, this yeast produces the funky, barnyardy character common to lambic beers. You might have to ask for the beer, but it's worth a visit.

In fact, all of Brewer McCarthy's beers are worth a visit!

Another guilty pleasure: fried pickles.

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