Expert Picks for August 2017

August is the month when we gaze absently into our beer, look up at our friends, and ask: “Where has the summer gone?” It’s waning on the tapering songs of cicadas and bullfrogs, crickets and katydids; dimming with departing fireflies; slipping away a couple minutes a day as the sun sets just a little earlier. […]

August is the month when we gaze absently into our beer, look up at our friends, and ask: “Where has the summer gone?”

It’s waning on the tapering songs of cicadas and bullfrogs, crickets and katydids; dimming with departing fireflies; slipping away a couple minutes a day as the sun sets just a little earlier.

And so we shrug at the lawn that didn’t quite meet our expectations (maybe next year). Complain about how hot and sticky it is (but we kinda like it that way). Plan one last vacation, not too far away (but far enough). And wonder what beers go best with all those things.

These are our picks for the brews mostly likely to make your August last a little longer:

Blue Moon Mango Wheat

Blue Moon head brewmaster Keith Villa got the idea for this refreshing summer beer while spending time on the beaches in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cancun. He watched fruit vendors bring freshly cut mangos and put them on a stick to enjoy in the sunshine. This gave him the idea for Mango Wheat beer – created with mango and a hint of honey for a mild sweetness, bright yellow-orange color, and cloudy wheat haze. Northwest hops lend citrusy, fruity and tropical notes.

Pairing
Mango Wheat pairs wonderfully with bright, fresh flavors that complement its expressive mango and delicate sweetness, while deeper, savory and spicy dishes provide a lovely contrast. Try it with Latin and Southeast Asian dishes, like spicy coconut chicken curry, Mexican posole (pork and hominy stew), kimchi fries, or these delicious fish tacos:

Grilled Whole Fish Tacos with Peach Salsa

This recipe is an impressive, fun presentation. These tacos start out with a whole grilled fish, served at the table for self-serve tacos, topped with a fresh, sweet peach salsa. The citrus in your Mango Wheat beer complements the salsa while cutting down the spiciness, too.

Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 16 min
Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Peaches, diced
  • ½ cup Red onion, diced
  • 1 Jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 3 Tbsp Chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp Chili powder
  • 1 3-lb Red snapper (cleaned and scaled)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Corn tortillas
  • Lime wedges

Directions

  1. In a bowl, toss to combine peaches, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice and chili powder.
  2. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. Coat fish with oil and season the entire fish, including the cavity, with salt. Place fish in a grill basket or put a piece of foil on the grill and place the snapper on the foil. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes a side, with the grill lid in place, until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily.
  3. Place the fish on a serving platter and serve with warm corn tortillas, peach salsa and lime wedges.

Dessert Idea: Berry Cobbler with French Vanilla Ice Cream

 

Revolution Rosa Hibiscus Ale

Revolution is Illinois’ largest independently-owned brewery and a leader and innovator of bigger flavors, more variety, and better beer. Between their brewery and brewpub, Revolution produces dozens of accessible brews for everyday people – IPAs, porters, pilsners, Belgian-style ales, pale ales, barrel-aged beers – and the light and refreshing Rosa Hibiscus Ale, a highly drinkable golden ale steeped with 70 pounds of hibiscus flowers.

Pairings
Rosa’s natural tartness and slight pink hue make a tasty and tasteful choice to serve with salads, ice cream, salmon, chutneys, or cheesecake.

 

Fat Tire Belgian White

For the first time since they started brewing Belgian Style Ale 25 years ago, New Belgium is adding a new beer to the Fat Tire family: Fat Tire Belgian White. This light-bodied, unfiltered wheat beer, brewed with Seville orange peel and Indian coriander (both freshly ground less than a mile from Fort Collins), provide the perfect balance of refreshment and drinkability with just a hint of sweetness.

Pairing
The refreshing drinkability of Belgian White makes it a good choice for shellfish, Thai food, pizza, and rich meats like bacon, sausage, and burgers.

 

3 Floyds Alpha King

When 3 Floyds opened their original brewery in Hammond, IN in 1996, they set out to make bold and aggressive beers to stand out in the Northwest Indiana, Chicago, and Greater Indiana markets. Using sound techniques, the finest ingredients and innovation, and strictly adhering to the old German Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot), 3 Floyds makes the best and most memorable beers.

(Oh, why “3” in 3 Floyds? The brewery was founded by brothers Nick and Simon and their father Mike Floyd.)

Pairings
Alpha King is a bold, balanced American Pale Ale with slight caramel sweetness and aggressive citrus hoppiness. It makes an excellent partner to grilled meats like burgers or BBQ, and Thai or Indian cuisine. It’s also the key to this rich and savory steak sauce – an unbeatable complement to steak, burgers and fries:

Alpha King Steak Sauce

As featured at 3 Floyds Brewpub, Munster, IN

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Yellow onion, minced
  • 5 cloves Garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Tomato paste
  • 1 (12oz) bottle 3 Floyds Alpha King
  • 1 cup Beef stock
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 cup honey

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until caramelized. Add the tomato paste, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the liquid has reduced to a quarter of its original volume.
  3. Carefully transfer the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.