Ballast Point, the brewery producing one of the most beloved IPA's on the west coast, Sculpin, is the highlight of my latest Beer & Food Pairing! Anyone who has put their lips to a hoppy beer in San Diego knows all too well the incredible draw of Sculpin, with it's amazing freshness and citrus & tropical fruit hoppiness, making it the perfect sunny day IPA. Joining this stalwart classic this week are a few other delicious selections, so let's get started!
Sculpin IPA, 7% ABV: Paired with Tilapia Ceviche, a mouthwatering & spicy combination of fresh Tilapia, cilantro, cucumber, jalapeños, tomato, red onion, mandarin oranges, & lime juice. The tropical & citrus notes of the hops resonate with the oranges & sweetness of the fish, while the herbs & spiciness of the jalapeños make every sip of Sculpin that much better.
Fathom IPL (India Pale Lager),7% ABV : I fell in love with this easy drinking, yet characterful lager when I was at the brewery recently. Bright and refreshing, Fathom has notes of grass, citrus, freshly cut herbs, with a crispness only found in a perfectly crafted lager. Be careful friends, that 7% drinks like about 5%!
I paired this with a Prosciutto Pizza, with sun-dried tomato, fresh arugula & Parmigiano, & olive oil drizzle. A variety of taste tinglers fell into place with this brew. The saltiness of the prosciutto & cheese, and the fat of the olive oil were sliced through by the crispness of the lager, while the peppery notes of the arugula were enhanced by the bitter, herbal character of the hops. That's what you call a summer meal!
Dorado Double IPA, 9.6% ABV: This big boy hop monster is loaded with citrus, tropical fruit, pine, & herbs on a honey caramel malt backbone. Even at this ABV, we couldn't serve this beer fast enough for eager hopheads!
I paired with a 1/2 Herb-Roasted Free Range Chicken, with smoked gouda mashed potatoes and honey-glazed carrots. The honeyed character of the malt matched both the natural sweetness of the tender meat & the glaze, while the herbs were punctuated by the hoppy notes in the beer.
Navigator Doppelbock, 8.9% ABV: Those of you who follow my Beer Minute videos know how much I enjoy this beer! (CLICK HERE for that video) Rich, yet perfectly balanced with comforting notes of toasted bread, brown sugar, nuts, and dark caramel, & toasty malt. I paired this with our hearty Osso Buco with mushroom demi-glace and mashed potatoes. The roastiness and smooth malt character matched beautifully with the slow roast of the pork shank, and made this a spot-on meal for a chilly beach evening.
While this beer would also be lovely with dessert, I had something else in mind for everyone's sweet tooth...
Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter, 10% ABV: Without a doubt one of their cult beers, Victory at Sea is drooled after by craft beer geeks county wide and incites lines at their brewery at bottle release time! And yes, it's that good. Chocked full of dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, & vanilla, it's a beer you want to wrap up with in a blanket and not come out.
Paired with Double Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches with our house bakers' Lemoncats Double Chocolate brownies, vanilla bean ice cream, and drizzled with caramel and chocolate sauces. Now that's decadence.
Until next time,
CHEERS & Bon Appetit!