BrewDog Dinner Part 5: The Lagers
Mark Dredge is back
BrewDog Dinner: 77 and Zeitgeist
The sun is shining and you need a beer. You are hot, your throat is dry, you know just how that first mouthful will taste. You need something straight from the fridge. Just pop the cap off and neck it from the bottle. It really hits the spot. It's cold and crisp, the hops are so refreshing, the malt covers your palate with sweetness and the tingling fizz makes you hungry. You need some food; you need to light the barbeque. This is what you really want, drinking outside in the warmth, a few beers and some good grub. It's beer, food and fire. It's elemental.
The fire creates these awesome charred flavours around whatever you're barbequing and this char loves roasted malt. This is brilliant news because you've got a Zeitgeist open. This beer is a refreshing beauty on a hot day, the hops are zingy and the malt so full of dark roast flavours; it really hits the spot (you know the one, the ‘aaahhhh' spot). Put this with the charry outsides of a steak or a burger and you get something pretty damn great. The roasted bitter-sweetness in Zeitgeist loves the ‘burnt' flavour and brings out all the chocolaty stuff in the beer, then the nifty hops just breeze through and lifts your palate like a summer breeze. It's brilliant. Got chicken or fish? Zeitgeist is still great, or open a bottle of 77 lager. It's light and fruity and snappy and deliciously rebellious (what do you mean this lager tastes of something?). Zeitgeist and 77 are spot-on for all the ‘accessories' that go with a barbie too - the salads, potatoes, breads and sauces. They are perfect beers for the warmth. And right there, in the warmth, all you really want is a few cold brewskis. A few cold ‘Dogs.
You've had your grilled fill, so now you're going to want dessert right? Hell yeah. How about this. Before you light the fire, cut up some strawberries and put them in a bowl, squeeze over a little lime juice and a pinch of sugar (just a pinch), crack open a bottle of 77, take a swig, enjoy and then pour a few glugs over the fruit (don't drown it, just a little) and leave in the fridge until you want them. Lagered strawberries. Trust me, it works. And chuck some other fruit in too; mango, kiwi, cherry, apple... The hops balance the sweetness, the fruitiness is enhanced all-round and it's a cool beery dessert. If you're drinking Zeitgeist then when you take the last hunk of meat off the grill, grab a few over-ripe bananas and slice them length ways (don't cut all the way through though), then stuff some dark chilli chocolate into the slice. Wrap loosely in foil and BBQ for an hour or so (this works in the oven too). It's awesome with the beer, the slight chilli-heat in the chocolate loves the hops and malt, and banana and roasted malt are just wicked matches (normal dark chocolate is great here too).
But alas, the sun doesn't always shine and you'll still want to drink these beers with dinner. No fear. Zeitgeist is a fantasy beer for so many foods. It works excellently with the sweetly rich fish and wasabi kick of sushi. Have a steak indoors - you don't need raw fire to make it charred - just turn up the heat until the pan smokes like Vesuvius. Spaghetti bolognese is a proper winner; the meat and tomato loves bitter chocolatey malt, leaving a cracking smoky character in the beer and bringing out all the beef richness in the meat. And spice. Hops and spice work so well when you get them right and chilli with a Zeitgeist is blinding, working the same way as the spag bol just having the hops wrap around the heat at the end. If you ask me, this beer is better than any IPA with a chilli. Try it and you'll see the (dark) light. (And don't forget Dogma and chilli for another - literally - thrilling combo of BrewDog and spice.)
And 77. That mutinous lager. It's pizza in one hand and a bottle in the other. It's a curry with mates. It's fish and chips. It's great with salad if you like a bit of healthy living. Thai, Caribbean, Mexican, Greek, Spanish... Make a paella; fry some squid, anything seafood; treat it like a palate-awakening champagne; have it with snacks like guacamole or hummus; have a plate of fresh asparagus and poached eggs (do you see how beer kicks ass against a whole list of wine-foes - bananas, chili, char, avocado, eggs and asparagus... we're doing well, we might just change the world!); tapas; jerk chicken; or have it with the greatest food-thing in the world, a fish finger sandwich.
Zeitgeist and 77 - an awesome dark and light duo - done. Over and Out.
You csn buy a special BrewDog 77 Lager and zeitgeist mixed case here: