Beer Series Pairing: Mariners at White Sox, 4/5-4/7

The Oakland series was a bit bittersweet. They're going forward with a .500 record, the players people expected to do well did well and the question marks still loom. Now they face the kryptonite of the 2012 season, the White Sox. Unlike the first series where both teams could (and did) go dutch and walk away with no hard feelings, this series will have one team win and the other will lose.

With a sense of dread, some soured memories with tinges of bitterness, we have a great intro to one of the beer world's most distinct styles: the Flemish Red. This series we'll taste the Bourgogne de Flandres, a very middle of the road version. By middle of the road, I mean something that is affordable and gets you clued into the style in a way that's acceptably unctuous.

Flemish Reds are quite different from the flavor profiles of modern beers, they embrace and utilize beer's tendency to become sour*. However unlike their cousin the Lambic, a Flemish Red aims to balance out the tartness by having an abundance malty sweetness. This series beer is more on the sweet side, which I think is the dipping your toes in the water rather then jumping right in (if that's your gig I'd try Rodenbach or New Belgium's La Follie).

Sour, sweet and a bit funky, this is a fun and very different beer. Whenever I meet someone who claims they don't like beer, I recommend they try a sour. It's best you open the beer with an open mind, but considering that you're reading about beer on a baseball website you probably are already there.

This series cheese works as both a good pairing with a Flemish Red but also a cheese that fits well with the nature of the series. I firmly believe in pairing a sour with a full bodied, rustic and intense cheese, and this French classic nails it. Morbier is an earthy, creamy and a very robust cheese. But the story behind it makes sense for this series. It is made in the evening (like tomorrow night!) then coated with ash until the next day in which fresh morning milk is used (just like Saturday's game!). Let's all hopes the M's can make their own Morbier by winning in the evening then doing the same in the afternoon.

* With 50 odd posts I'll cover in more detail sours. For now stumble blind or ask questions in the comments.