Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beer") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers around. But, in the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson "IT'LL GET YOU DRUNK!"
It's Ute week, so the honorary beer selection is Polygamy Porter from Wasatch Brewery. Indeed, why have just one?
The real selection, however, comes from the Bruery in Plascentia, CA. I was thinking about all the frustration of the 2014 football season - the near misses, the quarterback controversy, and the seventh straight year of mounting losses - and my mind, somehow, turned to sour beers. The Bruery has some great ones, and I'm tabbing their Sour in the Rye as this week's gameday beer-o-the-week.
I'm not a huge fan of sours. If I'm going to wreck my palate, I usually want to do it with a blast of hops. Every now and then, however, a good sour - made by letting wild yeasts and bacteria into the brewing process - can make for an appealing taste adventure. Sour in the Rye fell into this category yesterday afternoon, as the itis from Thanksgiving dinner gave way to a jonesing for pie. As I was putting away portions of my famous rum-cherry concoction, I was told to try it with some of this. The flavors paired magnificently, and I was immediately sold. In true Turkey Day tradition, give me more, give me more, give me more.
The beer is aged in oak barrels, which, to my tongue, mellows out some of the sharper, more acidic flavors. I got notes of vanilla, sour apple, and cherry, combined with a slightly spicy/woody tone. As I said, it goes very well with fruit pies. For sipping only, it comes in at 7.6%. Brew shops with a deep bench might have some, so ask for it, if you're open to something different. It'll go great with those leftovers still sitting in your fridge.
Happy Friday! Go Buffs, beat the Utes!