May. 09, 2012 - Issue #864: The Barbecutionist
What's a barbecue without a good beer?
I love the beginning of barbecue season. After months of sitting under a blanket of snow, I can finally fire up the grill. There is no question that barbecues, with their slow, smoky cooking, produce flavours you can't reproduce on the stove. But what I like best about barbecuing is the act of grilling. Standing in front of a flame, tending a burger or some veggie kebabs, feeling the sun beating down on me and soaking in the fleeting moments of summer.
And, of course, savouring a good beer. It is that beer I want to talk about. Not what to pair with the meal you are grilling, but what beer goes best with the art of barbecuing. What beer should you quaff as you flip your burger?
Normally people would pick a cold pale lager, as its crispness would go down well. But you probably know me well enough to sense that I am not going down that road. Instead, I want to talk about some other barbecue-worthy beer.
What is the key quality of a barbecue beer? I am looking for something light, crisp, quenching and which goes well with sun, smoke and mosquitoes.
Thankfully there are a number of options. Any number of premium lagers, like Alley Kat Charlie Flint, Yellowhead Lager and Creemore Springs, could fit the bill. So might a blonde ale like Yukon Gold. All good choices. But I want to highlight a particularly appropriate but fairly unknown British style: Golden Ale. This is nothing like we do in North America. It is light, fruity and dry with a surprising thirst-quenching quality.
I might here highlight Harviestoun's Bitter and Twisted, a remarkably wonderful beer. However, I reviewed it last year, so that would be repetitious. But keep it in mind as an option.
An equally quenching example is Moor Beer Company's Somerland Gold. It is a hazy, light yellow beer that spills over with a voluminous white head. The aroma exudes a soft, grainy cereal malt and a grassy hop. The flavour starts with a soft, grainy malt sweetness, some earthiness and a strong lemony character. The hops arrive in the middle. They are moderate but make their presence known with floral and grassy character. The beer's finish is dry with a light citrusy character. I find it is light enough to work in front of a barbecue, but has sufficient flavour to catch my attention.
Summer is almost here, folks. You know you are going to fire up your barbecue. Now you have the right beer to drink with it. V
Jason Foster is the creator of onbeer.org, a website devoted to news and views on beer from the prairies and beyond.
Moor Brewing Company, Somerset, England
$11.99 for 660 ml bottle
Vue respects your privacy. We will not forward your personal information to any other organization except as required by law, and will use your e-mail address only to respond to your comments. We reserve the right to edit and remove comments for length, clarity and/or if they are illegal or inappropriate. Your email address is never shown to visitors to vueweekly.com. Read the whole policy at: http://vueweekly.com/privacy