Monday, May 18, 2015

Perfecting your pairings

New Belgium - Slow Ride Session IPA

There are so many different ways to pair beer. I've paired beers with food (stout and chocolate chip cookies), with company (IPA's with certain friends, pilsners for another), with sporting events (Lompoc's Kick Axe for a Timbers game), with season and weather (Imperial Stouts in a winter storm and a Kolsch in the summer heat), with location (8 Ball Stout when I'm back in Humboldt). Another important pairing type is with driving. No, I'm not picking out a beer to drive with, but I definitely consider what kind of beer I'm going to have if I have to drive in the near future. Now I love imperials and I like to go big on taste and ABV, but that does not pair well with driving.

New Belgium's Slow Ride Session IPA works well. Your mileage may vary, but I feel very comfortable with enjoying one of these when I know a drive is coming soon. With a 4.5% ABV a BAC calculator returns a 0.01 in the 1st hour and a 0 after.
Twins separated at filling
Low ABV does not have to mean low on taste. Looking up this beer on NB's site I was not surprised to see the high number of hops used. They pack in 8 different varieties with Mosaic and Nelson Sauvin in the lead (Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic, Simcoe, Nelson Sauvin, Nugget, Centennial and Cascade in all). Slow Ride is light and a bit sweet with a very noticeable hop bitterness that swings heavily on the fruity side for the hops.

Drinking and driving is not cool. If you are going to have something to drink before you drive make sure it is low in ABV and high in taste. Though, if I'm relaxing on my porch swing, that's another story. Everything in moderation, including moderation.

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