Hey Twisted Peeps!
This post is a departure for me because I’m going to write about beer.
My favorite place to get fantastic beer and great food is the Holy Grail Pub. The owner, Brian has created a comfortable neighborhood place with a knowledgeable friendly staff.
I don’t know if there are certified Cicerones (the equivalent to a Sommelier) that work at Holy Grail, but honestly they don’t need one. Everyone is passionate about beer and food and can easily help you with your choices.
Sully and I decided to try out the Holy Grail Chili-pa-looza event. I ordered a flight of chili, which was a sample of 4: Vegetarian 3 Bean, White Turkey Hominy, Smoked Brisket, and Ghost Pepper. (They were out of the Green Chile Chicken).
The Cicerone for the evening was Steven. I asked him to set up a flight of beer to go with the chilies.
Pairing #1 Green Flash West Coast IPA with the Vegetarian 3 Bean. Green Flash is a hoppy beer with citrus and pine. I do not like hoppy beers, but this was a perfect pairing with the Vegetarian. The beer really brought out the acidity of the tomatoes and added depth to the taste of the chili.
It also worked well with the White Turkey Hominy. It was an equal pairing where the beer and the chili did not really change one another. Very nice.
Pairing #2 Stone Brewery Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale with White Turkey Hominy Chili. I love almost everything Stone does. However, this beer was too light which really surprised me, so I tried it with the Vegetarian and again, it was too light and sort of forgettable.
Pairing #3 Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout with the Smoked Brisket was wonderful. The beer has elements of bitter chocolate, coffee, molasses and roasted nuts that really complimented the smokey sweetness of the sauce and had enough body to handle the texture of the chili.
I also tried it with the Ghost Pepper Chili and it actually smoothed out some of the heat.
Pairing #4 Southern Tier Choklet Imperial Stout with the Ghost Pepper Chili…WOW! I loved it. This Imperial Stout is rich, sweet, earthy and dark. It added some sweetness to the Ghost Peppers which is a good thing so my mouth did not feel like it was being charred from the really really hot peppers. The beer made my palate feel like it was being “protected” in dark chocolate goodness before being assaulted by fire. That’s a weird analogy, but I don’t how else to explain it…LOL!
For fun, I tried it with the Smoked Brisket but that did not go so well. The beer made the chili bitter.
So all in all, I think it was a successful chili and beer pairing.
Thank you Steven for rising to the challenge and the whole Holy Grail Crew for putting up with this “wine snob”.
Your Twisted Sommelier,