Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pic(k) of the Week: Sweet! Pairing of Beer & Food

Alan McLeod at A Good Beer Blog finds the concept of beer and food pairing superfluous, and the word itself annoying.("Why does that word 'pairing' make my temples ache?") There's only one thing worse than 'pairing' beer and food, he grouses. And that's people writing about 'pairing' beer and food.

So, here, for curmudgeon-in beer Alan, a 'pairing' ... in a picture:

A sweet food pairing for BlackOps

Brooklyn Brewery's Black Ops
A 'Russian' Imperial Stout, fermented, than aged for four months in bourbon barrels, bottled un-carbonated, and re-fermented in the bottle with Champagne yeast. 11.6% alcohol by volume (abv). Only 940 cases produced for 2010.

Reese's (Yes, it has a website. Twitter?)

Chocolate and peanut butter cup, with a strong, more-ish, bourbon-esque, vanilla-tinged, mocha-hinted, roasty stout.  They were delicious, uh, paired together.

  • Modern day Guinness Stout is 4.4% abv. So-called Russian Imperial Stout is fermented to much higher alcohol levels, usually in excess of 8%. These days, more such beers are brewed outside of Russia than within, despite the name, They are said to be named after Russian Tsarina Catherine the Great's penchant (and thus of members of her court) for London stouts, which had been fermented stronger to survive export. There is current historical scholarship which disputes this assertion.
  • Caveat lector:  I sell Brooklyn Brewery beers in northern Virginia, as a representative of beer/wine wholesaler Select Wines, Inc., at whose offices, in fact, this food pairing occurred.
  • Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos.


  1. I passed on Black Ops last Friday when I was on my CNY beer haul due to the 20-23 price tag but I am glad to see that it goes with a peanut butter cup.

    By the way, I am working through the beer "pairing" combinations with a variety of my favorite ball caps as well as 1970s glam rock lps because pairing gives so much meaning to beer that it should not be restricted to food. I was particularly pleased when I discovered that Saison Dupont pairs well with Slade.

  2. That's hilarious. I am not one for chocolate and peanut butter "paired" together, but I might try it when I choose to pop the cork. I might trade up for the new dark edition...


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