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Wagstaff & The Three Beers April 30, 2008

Posted by Jim Berkin in Food.
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The past few dinners I’ve enjoyed sampling some more widget-in-the-can draught style beers, and I’ll pass on my reviews and thoughts here.

First up to bat was Tetley’s English Ale, which poured smoothly into a reddish, slightly bitter but well balanced and fragrant brew. It went very nicely with a couple of roast chicken dinners I’d made, where the seasonings on the food was more on the mildly salty side. It’d go well with a good steak as well, I think.

Tonight I had a second go-round of Wexford’s Irish Cream Ale, which was milder in flavor than the Tetley’s and a little more sour, but remains a very flavorful light brown ale. It paired better with the barbecued chicken tonight than it did with the baked salmon last week. I thought the salmon would be enough to stand up to a stronger beer, but I’d miscalculated (not that I really suffered, so put those handkerchiefs away.)

I think the real winner of the trio, however, is the Beamish Irish Stout which I found slightly less bitter than the Guinness Draught (and I love Guinness Drought), with very strong flavors, a beautiful dark color with a tan head, and slight hints of bitter chocolate in the finish. This would need a strong heavy meal to stand aside, or it would go wonderfully with pretzels, chips/salsa and the like while enjoying a good game. After a few sips, I got the feeling I’d be going through buckets of this stuff as baseball gets going (despite the anemic Yankee performance thus far) and when football returns. I have to be in the proper mood for stouts, however, much the way that I love shellfish but don’t eat it every night. I want to space it out enough that I’m truly savoring it, and Beamish fits into that category. Breaking it up with the two ales aforementioned seems like a good plan, however.

Yes, I also like to pair wine with food, usually whenever I cook Italian which is fairly often now that I think of it. Perhaps I’ll write some wine reviews in the future, but mostly my taste in wine runs towards the easily drinkable Italian & Chilean imports as well as the more affordable California varieties found at Trader Joe’s.

Funny, I made a New Year’s resolution back in 2007 to drink more and I’ve done a great job of keeping it. In 2008, I resolved to exercise more and I’m not as diligent about it. I wonder why that is. 😉

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