Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pickles & Beer

Last night was a No Boys Allowed Club meeting wherein we pickled things, drank beer, and discussed the merits of Britney Spears.

Pickling things: not as hard as you might have thought.  One absent member of the club who had to go hang out with her boyfriend (the Club did not approve) was going to bring strawberries, but without her we were also without berries, so we pickled WAY too many cloves of garlic, some radishes that I kept calling beets, and one lone cucumber.  Basically you put the soon-to-be-pickle in a jar, heat up water with salt & sugar & some other spices in it, pour the "hot brine" in the jar, and seal it up.  Ta da!  Pickles.

The Pickle Pact states that we cannot open the jars until all have agreed.  I will keep my one Tulsa reader posted on how they turn out.

My new friend Thor brought a number of beers to the party, so I got to try some new things.

First up!  Brasserie Fantôme Printemps (Saison, 8% ABV).  It was a little more sour than I was expecting, but I found it delicious.  A hint of lemon (Thor pointed out that saying "a hint of" instead of just "lemon" makes me sound much more worldly), and not too watery.  I vote yes on this saison for spring/summer weather.

After that, we tried a beer I found at Trader Joe's when they were out of my beloved Oatmeal Stout.  Black Hart Stout (Dry Stout, 5.5% ABV).  It was only $6 for a 6-pack, so I figured this was a poorman's version of Guinness, but I was pleasantly surprised!  I found it way better than Guinness (which I'm not that big a fan of anyway).  Full-bodied, nice coffee flavour.  Slightly syrupy, but not too thick.  The best part was its low ABV - it makes a good session beer.  As far as cheap stouts go, this one's now my favourite.

I recently discovered a delicious Belgian Trippel from Green Flash, a southern California brewery.  And last night, my new friend Thor introduced me to an awesome combination of that Trippel with an IPA!  Green Flash le Freak (Abbey Tripel, 9.2% ABV).  It was SO GOOD.  I generally don't like IPAs, but I thought the hoppiness added a really interesting flavour to the Belgian style.  I really loved this beer, to the surprise of the Lumberjack who texted me "Who are you and what have you done with my girlfriend?" when I told him what I was drinking (right before the Club informed me that No Boys also meant No Texting - picklers are a harsh group!).  I really like this beer, and think it would go well with any meal - it would match a nice dinner just as well as an outdoor picnic.  Oh, picnics.  I miss you.

Finally we were on to Ommegang Hennepin (Saison, 7.7% ABV).  I wasn't too impressed by this one.  Maybe it's because I had it last, after the other beers that I was so crushed out on, but it just didn't seem that exciting.  It tasted slightly sour in the bad way, and wasn't very engaging.  But I also don't think I gave it much attention since I was going to be driving home shortly thereafter so I only wanted to taste it and not drink much.

End result: hooray for pickles, Thor picks out good beer, and Trader Joe's really does have good bargains.

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