Pairing beers… with people!

(The following column was originally published in the Waterbury (Conn.) Republican-American on Dec. 12, 2012.)

Your aging cousin?www.beeradvocate.com

Your aging cousin?
http://www.beeradvocate.com


 
Let’s admit this much: shopping for some people is arduous and draining.

Uncle Larry? The one who’s hosting Christmas Eve this year? All you know about his new “lady friend” is that she seems to have a condition that does not allow her to stop talking. What do you get for someone like that?

And then there’s your best friend’s cousin… Cliff or Clive or something. He’s hosting a get-together that will be completely vegetarian. He brags about not wearing shoes since 1995. How do you get anything appropriate for barefoot wonder?

You already know my answer. Yeah, it’s beer.

Matching the gift with the receiver isn’t difficult and can be rewarding, if only for you. Now for some recommendations that allow you to find your match.

1. For your aging cousin who lives on the Maine Coast: New England Brewery’s Sea Hag IPA. Like her, it’s bitter and might overwhelm anything it’s paired with.


2. For the veterinarian: Flying Dog Brewing’s In-Heat Wheat. This crisp hefeweizen will bring back memories for him of pre-neutered clients.

3. For your continually rattled aunt: Oskar Blues’ Mama’s Little Yella Pils. Because nothing says, “Take two of these and call me in the morning” like a refreshing pilsner that pairs well with anything, including handfuls of M&Ms.

4. For the neighbor who plays jazz until 3 in the morning: North Coast Brewing’s Brother Thelonious. This complex Belgian-style strong dark ale is mostly for people who “get it, man” about flavorful yeast and obscure aromas like plum and candle wax.

5.For the 70-year-old with the ponytail and funny-smelling van: Abita Brewing’s Purple Haze. This raspberry wheat beer is tart but smooth, like a Hendrix solo played through an eight-track.

6. For your niece who got the gift certificate to the tattoo parlor: Clown Shoes’ Tramp Stamp. Unlike her lower-back ink, this high-octane Belgian IPA retains its taste over time.

7. For the neighbor who’s also an irresponsible dog walker: Rogue Brewery’s Yellow Snow IPA. He’ll probably get the message that he’s no longer number one after this splash of bitterness.

8. For the man who plays the elf at the mall: Ridgeway Brewing’s Santa’s Butt. This timely gift of a dry English porter says, “I know you’re the true talent in this duo.”

9. For the know-it-all relative who can’t stop talking about politics: Stone Brewing’s Arrogant Bastard Ale. This strong ale is a little hard to swallow, which will keep him quiet for a few minutes.

10. For the guy or girl who broke up with you in a text message but still wants to be “friends”: Coors Light. Because really… why bother?

Until next year, sip well.

Want to reach out to the Beer Snob? Like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter: @BeerSnobCT.

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