The last time I was writing in these pages, we were steamrollering towards Christmas....and that’s gone flying past in a boozy, tinselly flash, hasn’t it!
We’re now in a funny time of the year, beer-wise, and the excesses of December have given way to the paucity of Ginuary, (sorry, January!). However that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice flavour in your drinks, far from it!
While the weather may be typically cold & grim, those dark beers are still the order of the day. The rich roastiness, chocolate and coffee hints, malty sweetness & thick mouthfeel of a great stout is perfect for these colder months. Also, those heavier ales and barley wines are currently shining at this time of year, with those earthy sweet malt & fruit flavours going so well with hearty stews and rich pasta dishes.
Oysters, mussels and clams are also coming into season, so if you’re planning on having a nice romantic seafood dinner, why not go for something a little different than wine with your meal? As the nights are getting lighter, plants are thinking about blooming, & that means hops. Lots of hops. Tropical, citrussy, fruity sharpness that we’re seeing so much of these days. A well balanced citrussy IPA, or a dry lambic gueuze would be great cutting through the delicate sweet richness of those shellfish, not too mention all those rich desserts and Easter Eggs!
So whatever’s on your menu, now’s the time to start trying something new and different drink-wise! I’m confident you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what weird and wonderful pairings are out there so why not make this years resolution a pleasant one and do 3 things in 2018: shop local, pick seasonal foods and experiment with something different in your glass!
I hope all of you have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018, and we’ll see you at the bar!
The Beer Emporium.