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The Gastronomical Growler

Craftily beer-infused recipes? We’ll drink to that.

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The Gastronomical Growler

Beer may date back as many as 18,000 years, according to archaeologists. But it was only recently that the industry took on a crafty new spin: fermenting small, independent brewers all over America and abroad. Bottoms up if you are definitely here for the golden age of beer! (*Empties pint*) New brewmasters are tantalizing our palates with a bevy of interesting craft beers, to which they’re adding unique flavors ranging from cinnamon, coffee and chocolate to citrus zest and berries. Flavor-enhanced beers are opening up new interest … and new cooking possibilities. Of course, not every beer is suited to a plant-based diet. The always helpful barnivore.com lets you know which beers are vegan (as does the app Vegaholic, which uses Barnivore data). And if it’s a bevvie from a small, local brewery, just ask the makers! We’ve developed delicious recipes using some of the most flavorful craft beers on the market. Feel free to experiment with your own favorite pours. Spiking your creations with unique craft beers not only gives your recipe depth, but it also offers the chef an opportunity to quaff what’s left in the bottle while he cooks. (Go for it, bud. No one will be the weiser.)

Pints and plant-based food pairings

Choosing the right beer to drink with your meal or for infusing your recipes has become a lot more detailed in this decade of proliferating microbreweries, nanobreweries and brewpubs, all with their own unique brews. Here, we’ve provided a simple chart listing a few basic beers with their individual tasting notes and food pairing suggestions. As the world of beer continues to evolve, so will your options.

BeerTaste notesFood pairings
Belgian witbierunfiltered and light with hints of orange, citrus and corianderperfect with salad dishes and gentle fruit salad dressings
blonde alemild malted flavor that balances a medium hop flavorcomplements Asian foods, including hot, spicy and some sweet additions, like mango
light lagerrefreshingly crispdelicious with flavorful Asian ingredients like lemongrass, cilantro, ginger and garlic
hefeweizena bit cloudy with a defined yeast overtone and hints of cloves and bananabalances ingredients in recipes with mustard, pickles and horseradish
pale alespicy and earthy chased with some bitter hopsworks well with smoky-flavored foods or strong vegan cheeses
IPA (India pale ale)definite hoppy flavor throughoutgreat with spiced foods like curries, Moroccan foods and even some desserts, like deep and fudgy rich chocolate cakes
amber lagersweet malted notes with hops balancing throughoutthink Italian: delicious with certain reduction sauces like tomato with balsamic, basil and oregano
amber alesmooth caramel notes with a hint of citrus and bitter hopsgoes well with anything grilled and spicy
brown alemalted flavors with caramel and toffee and some chocolate notesconsider hearty foods and Indonesian dishes with peanut sauces
porterdark malted beer with chocolate notes and mild roast coffee flavorsublime with smoked foods; pairs especially well with chocolate/espresso desserts or creamy vegan cheeses
stoutdark and heavy; chocolate, coffee and molasses flavorscrave-worthy with caramelized dishes and salty foods
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Recipes

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“Falager” Sliders with Smoky Tomato Sauce

Falafel Sliders with Smoky Tomato Sauce

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Beeramisu

Beeramisu

Okay, we know what you’re thinking: Which beers pair best with these recipes? We got you. Serve the Falagers with a crisp blonde craft lager laced with a little malt and a hint of hops. Serve the Beeramisu with a glass of coffee- and chocolate-flavored stout craft beer or porter that’s not too cold—and make sure there’s plenty of head.

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