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Three Beer Series Pairings: Rangers at Mariners, 4/11-4/14, Tigers at Mariners 4/16-4/18, Mariners at Ranger 4/19-4/21

To help keep the thread going, I have decided to add the next series to this post. It will appear below the original post.

What a rough series. I went to the home opener (Yay!) and then the game on Tuesday (oh God!). After watching yesterday's game at the pub, I closed up shop and went to my local QFC to pick a beer and this one caught my eye.

Terrible

It's actually really good and is from one of Canada's most famous and respected breweries, Unibroue. They make a wide variety of Belgian style beers and do it quite well. This one is a dark abby style with spices added to it. It's very strong (10.5 abv), which was perfect after watching the Mariners lose again to Astros, but worse was watching Saunders leave the field. I have to admit this series has not left me optimistic for the series against the Rangers.

But at least Felix takes the mound, and this beer feels kingly in a proper goblet. So that's what I'd do. Raise a glass to the King while feeling a bit fancy-pants yourself. Terrible is a huge on complexity, notes of various dried fruit, spices, chocolate with a dry yet sweet finish. Terrible isn't terrible, and perhaps the Mariners aren't. Only one way to find out.

For the cheese, I'd go with an equally big cheese. Stilton, this English produced blue has a pronounced maltiness that always pairs great with big sweet beers. I think it's more approachable than many blues as it has a sturdy cheddar like mouth feel and flavor, with that sweet, salty semi-funky blue flavor.

Anyhow, here's hoping that the Mariners stop being terrible and get out of this funk.

Cheers!

Tigers at Mariners

The first home stand ends after this series. It brought some highs (opening night), some lows (those awful Astros games) and they're now 3-4 at home. If things go right against the Tigers, which for some unexplainable reason the Mariners completely owned last season, they could end up above .500 and have a winning record at home. So despite Saunders, Morse and Pryor being hurt, things could conceivably go peachy just before hitting the road. Plus, it's supposed to be sunny for a few days here.

I had a hard time coming up with a beer for this series, Michigan makes a lot of great beer, however we can't get any of it here in Seattle. So instead I went with a semi-spring-like theme and a beer I hadn't had before. I spotted it at the 7-11 near my house, it came in a 22 and I needed to try it.

Widmer's Hopside Down

It's a hoppy lager, which I was excited to try. I honestly love a well done lager and really wish more craft breweries made them. A well crafted lager is both stunningly complex and straightforwardly easy-going. Some of my favorite beers are brewed in the lager style (we'll get into those as the weather warms) and I hope folks will be willing to try them as I fear they get a bum rap from craft drinkers.

Anyhow, what's nice about a hop forward lager is you really get to taste the hop profile and the ever so slightly lower pH also with that drier finish really makes a snappy and refreshing beer. This is one of them, they use enough crystal malt to accentuate fruity notes of the hops while having a very crisp finish. I really wish it was 80 degrees while drinking this beer, but alas I'll have to pretend.

What's a lager, you ask? If you know the answer go ahead and skip this paragraph otherwise, let's learn something! Beer is basically divided into three categories: ales, lagers and wilds. We briefly touch on wilds and ales and I promise we'll get into more detail on both, but for now let's stick to lagers. Basically a lager is a beer that is fermented with a slightly different species of yeast than an ale and because it's a different critter it has different needs. Namely the cold, whereas most ales are ferment between 55 and 80 degrees, nearly all lagers are fermented between 42 and 55. While they metabolize sugars slower at that temperature, they produce a lot less byproduct, thus they have a more 'clean' and 'neutral' flavor profile. They also can eat certain sugars that other yeast strains cannot thus producing a drier finish. Until very recently it was thought that the lager family evolved in the caves of Germany (lager is cave (and to store) in German), however its origin was a total surprise. Now you can amaze your friends when you talk about New World Micro-Fuana!

The cheese I'd recommend for this hoppy and light brew is another English treat: Cotswold. It's a Double Gloucester with chives and spring onions added. It's like a slightly bitter creamy cheddar, a perfect match for a slightly bitter beer. This is a cheese that can be snacked on with some hearty bread or my favorite is to mix into mashed potatoes.

My apologies for doing such a brief write-up. I'm short on time and that whole Boston thing really threw me for the day. Let me know if adding onto an existing beer pairing works for you. I think I'll clump to pairings per post or maybe do it week by week.

Cheers!

Mariners at Texas

Today will be very short, my Friday is super busy and I will add details tomorrow. So here goes, when I think of Texas I think dry. So let's go with something made with rye. I was super excited when I saw Hair of the Dog's Blue Dot had come out, this double IPA made from both barley and rye only comes out twice a year, and each time I am very stoked. However it is a very limited run and not a lot of stores carry it so the other I'll recommend would be Sierra Nevada's Ruthless Rye.

The cheese I'm recommending to go with these dry and grain forward beers is Bucheron. Which is a delightful goat cheese from France.

I'll add a lot more tomorrow morning. I have to get this show on the road!

Go M's!

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