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Friday, October 5, 2007

The Session #8: Beer & Food, Part I

I'm back in The Session, after two unfortunately badly-timed months where I missed it. This time it's on the theme of Beer and Food, the baby of Captain Hops at Beer Haiku Daily. And...I thought I'd do something by way of a salute to Stephen Beaumont's latest "Taste" column in Malt Advocate, in which he praises the early drink, admonishing us not to giggle at the idea of beer with breakfast.

Indeed. So I'm going to have beer with each meal today, and post three times. Right now I'm at my brother-in-law Carl's place in Chester, VA. I drove down yesterday afternoon (stopping for lunch at La Tolteca, in Waldorf, MD, which we stumbled on in August during a traffic jam and has become a regular stop: chalupa, enchilada, and a cold Negra Modelo) and spent the night, preparatory to driving to the World Beer Festival in Durham. This morning it's scrambled eggs, with tomatoes, munster, and leftover carnitas from last night's dinner. Oh, and a Saranac Octoberfest. It's 9 AM, and I am not giggling, Stephen.

Why this beer? Well, I like the Saranac beers, been drinking them for 20 years. I also figured the maltiness of the Ofest would set off the spicy pork nicely. Let's put that to the test: it's official, I'm a genius! No, really, this is good. The eggs are good stuff on their own, but with the beer in the mouth, things really light up. The beer gives the flavors in the melange the Playtex Bra Effect; it lifts and separates them. (Anyone else remember those ads? I've been wanting to use that phrase for years.) The pork steps out, I can taste the cheese clearly, even the tomatoes taste fresher. The beer's fresh as rain too, easy to swallow and grab for more. Great job on that, cheers to the folks in Utica.

Next stop: barbeque. Wonder if there's places where they'll let me have a beer. Yeek.


Anonymous said...

Well done, Lew, and many thanks for the homage. Sounds like a fine start to the day.

But as for your lunch of 'que, well, I've eaten as several NC barbeque joints and my suggestion is to pack a bottle or two of your own. I seem to recall drinking a fair amount of ice tea in that state.

Anonymous said...

didn't jane russell pitch them as well???

Anonymous said...


There are some pretty good beers under the Saranac label. Their other fall seasonal, the Pumpkin Ale, has been one of my favorites in the style this year. In a sea of over-spiced, unbalanced attempts, theirs really hit the spot. Good malt profile with more delicate spicing.

You can't beat the price point either. A full buck or buck and a half less per sixer than most other craft offerings here in NJ.

Granted, not all of their offerings are winners, but it would be hard for anyone to put out that shear variety of different styles without missing the mark occasionally.

Anonymous said...

shame, shame..eating at a chain restaurant...

you gonna post those VA BBQ places in your blog??

also, it crosses years off your figure...;)

Anonymous said...

ahhh! these folks do enjoy a good party occasionally! and a good beer too! cant wait to see what you might drink at the BBQ, always a treat to hear about my cousins to the east. talk to you soon - TIM CHILDS

Lew Bryson said...

Dr. Beaumont,
It was a fine start, thanks for the inspiration.

And yeah, they're not big on beer in NC, fools that they are. We got 'to go' and drank in the car while it rained like hell.

Lew Bryson said...


What chain? Far as I know, La Tolteca is a one-shot local, and it's pretty tasty stuff. As for the'm sweating a lot.

Lew Bryson said...

Tim, ya beerhound!

Good to see you here, man. Congratulations on the wedding, sorry we couldn't make it. Looking forward to seeing Mrs. Childs again, and getting some good beers on board.