Last night the Plaid Pelican, my home away from home, held another monthly beer tasting. This time it was emceed by Danny at Advintage, a Charleston based distributer. Once again the beers were diverse (even though they were all brewed in Colorado) and the food, a la Chef Bill, was top notch.
Avery Brewing - White Rascal
Avery Brewing was up first with their Belgian Style White named White Rascal. It is very similar in taste to Allagash White with a slight orange peel note on the palate and coriander on the nose. This beer was created to go with really spicy food, i.e. thai, indian, etc. For this reason it paired perfectly with the coconut shrimp and spicy dill sauce. I am leading the movement for this to be on the menu. Please let me know if you want to join the revolution.
Great Divide - Wild Raspberries
Josh, my unwilling bar partner for the evening is the acting Vanna White in the photo above, showing off the Great Divide beer that was served next. The raspberry taste is much more subtle than the name suggests. Normally I would have never chosen a beer with such a name and would have forever missed out on its greatness! Even though it tastes more like a wine cooler than a beer, it was still very refreshing. There was no pairing with this beer for good reason.
Left Hand Brewing - Sawtooth Ale
Blue Cheese, Basil and Honey on a Pelican Chip
The third beer was a Left Hand Sawtooth Ale that was paired with a Pelican Chip topped with blue cheese, basil and honey. The Sawtooth Ale has the appearance of an Amber Ale, but little to no finish (this is called a dry finish on their website). Still a good beer with enough earth and hops to make up for its apparent weakness.
Left Hand Brewing - 400 Lb Monkey
Our fourth beer of the night was another Left Hand Brewing creation: 400 Lb Monkey. Based solely on naming and labeling, I would buy this beer. Unfortunately, this weakness of mine pervades every aspect of my life and leads me to purchase items which I neither need nor enjoy. Fortunately, I enjoyed this beer. It is an English Style IPA which differs greatly from a traditional IPA due to the lesser presence of hops and malt.
Great Divide - Titan IPA
This was my favorite beer of the night and I subsequently bought a six pack of it. The crisp, citrus palate paired with the elegant piney nose creates the IPA I was looking for. I haven’t seen this beer anywhere else in town, so stock up at the Plaid Pelican!
Salmon and Spicy Cream Cheese
This photo really doesn’t do this pairing justice. The salmon was nicely cooked and paired with a spicy cream cheese. After talking with Chef Bill, he said he added some spicy pepper paste that he picked up at an Asian market. I could put that spread on a bagel in the morning with some lox! The crispness of the beer really balanced out the boldness of this pairing.
Left Hand - Milk Stout Float
This last beer was the piece de resistance of the evening and the first time I have ever had a beer float. And believe me, its as good as it sounds. The Left Hand Milk Stout, which is excellent on its own, was poured into a glass of ice cream and topped with a cinnamon stick. The mixture is superb after five minutes of letting the flavors meld. This is my new favorite dessert.
Overall, it was another successful tasting at the Plaid Pelican and another reason I will continue to visit them multiple times per week.