Saturday, July 30, 2011

Flying Dog Brewery Backyard Ale

When two of the three my interests come together, it is quite noteworthy. In this case, it is craft beer and cooking.  A craft brewer and a well known local chef -- both of which have established themselves in Frederick, Maryland -- have joined forces to create a craft beer.  And not just any craft beer.  A smoked amber ale and an amazing one at that. 

The collaboration is between Flying Dog Brewery and Bryan Voltaggio, the chef of Volt Restaurant.  Together, they have created the Backyard Ale.  According to the label, "[f]rom smoked brisket and artisan cased meats to pork belly, there's nothing like a backyard BBQ with good friends, good food, and (of course) good beer."  These words and phrases -- brisket, artisan cased meats, pork belly and beer -- almost always grab my attention.  And, when looking at a $16.99 bottle of beer, those words were the deciding factor when it came to trying this beer.  

Although a bit pricey, this beer is definitely worth it.  Smoked ales can be a bit touchy.  There can be too much smoke, which makes it seem like you are just drinking liquid smoke, and there can be too little smoke, which makes you wonder if the fire went out a long time ago.  But, this beer finds itself right in the middle, even down to the smoky reddish brown color of the beer. While there is some smoke in it is the smooth, smoke flavor of the beer that stands out.  

The beer has an ABV of 7.5% and an IBU that is barely worth mentioning.  This beer is not about the hops, although Liberty and Perle hops were used in the brewing process. Instead, it is about malts, and, more specifically, smoked malts.

The brewer notes that this beer pairs well with anything that is grilled, charred, broiled, roasted or smoked.  I would definitely agree with the grilled, charred, broiled or roasted, particularly red meats, but also chicken.  As for smoked meats, the beer and the smoked meats may result in a little too much smoke for most people.  

This beer is a limited release.  I found it at a local Whole Foods Market.  Until next time ...



Anonymous said...

Here's a recipe fromThe Monastery Cookbook, Farm-Fresh Recipes for the Home Cook by Bro. Victor-Antoine D'Avila-Latourette , a Benedictine monk in New York.
Endive and Beer Soup: 6 Servings. 8 medium Belgian endives. 6 Tbl butter. 6 (12 oz) bottles beer (ale or pilsner. 3 veg bouillon cubes. salt, pepper, nutmeg. 6 slices bread. grated guyere cheese. REst of recipe is like onion soup.

Keith Bolek said...

Thanks Emory for the recipe. I will definitely try this recipe. I hope all is well with you and Jane. -- Keith

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