Cover your turkey

(The following column was originally published in the Waterbury (CT) Republican-American on Nov. 14, 2012.)

Beer Snob about to tuck into some turkey with beer marinade.
By Will Siss

Craft beer is rarely humble.

Bold, complex, sumptuous ales love to show off. Their rocky heads erupt with the aromas of grapefruit and cinnamon and baked bread. Their amber, golden and chocolate brown hues cavort in the waning sunlight.

A single sip of an expertly created doppelbock or imperial stout commands your attention.

However, as we celebrate abundance while recognizing scarcity this season, beer can play a supporting role. It’s only appropriate as we appreciate the joys of comfort food during a season that’s been anything but comfortable for millions of Americans.

I had a chance to try out a turkey marinade that costars beer, which you might want to incorporate into your Thanksgiving meal. I’d like to share it with you, along with some beer recommendations. Continue reading “Cover your turkey”

Pumped for Pumpkin

Craftbeer.com

(The following column was originally published in the Waterbury (Conn.) Republican-American on Oct. 10, 2012.)

It’s easy to dismiss pumpkin ale.

First of all, there’s the ruined expectation: they don’t taste like pumpkin. That complaint I can’t really understand. Who wants to bite into plain pumpkin, anyway? Squirrels?

Then there are the drinkers for whom the style is too intense. “Yuck,” they say. “It tastes like I just sucked on a cinnamon stick.” That complaint I can get with. Who wants their mouth covered in spice? Squirrels?

Pumpkin in beer goes back to colonial times, when they used it for fermentation. A lot of today’s professional brewers – and even some homebrewers — have a masterful touch and test batch control, and they’re able to play with just how pumpkinny, verses spicy, they want their product to be.

Continue reading “Pumped for Pumpkin”

Spice Beers for Winter

(The following column was originally published in the Waterbury (CT) Republican-American on Dec. 28, 2011.)

By Will Siss

When it comes to spice in beer, a little goes a long way.

You can end up with something tasteful, with background notes of ginger or cloves, or feel like you’ve just swallowed liquefied potpourri.

I’ve got a few chilly month recommendations of beers that include spices that you don’t have to fear. Continue reading “Spice Beers for Winter”