The Sip

Food to put you in the mood, and the beer to drink with it.


Published:

Oysters
Oysters and beer are such fast friends that there exists a style of beer, called oyster stout, to categorize the creamy-textured dark beers that are made to be drunk with the briny bivalves. Some even incorporate oysters, shells and all, into the brewing process. Though the rich, roasty brews can provide an interesting foil for the salinity of oysters, I prefer something a little more palate-refreshing. From the local Ballast Point Brewing Company, I like the seafood-friendly citrus notes of the Wahoo Wheat and the Kolsch-style Ballast Point Pale Ale, which has a bit of the biscuity flavor of a brut champagne. Or perk up your taste buds with the tangy fizz of Hottenroth Berliner Weisse, a tart German wheat beer from Orange County’s The Bruery, best paired with oysters topped with a vinegar-based mignonette sauce or a simple squeeze of lemon.

Cheese
For centuries, monastic breweries in Belgium have been simultaneously handcrafting artisan cheese and brewing beer, so it makes delicious sense to seek out abbey ales when putting together a cheese plate for two. Among the most cheese-worthy beers from San Marcos’ The Lost Abbey is its Trappist-inspired Lost and Found. Infused with raisins, the beer tastes of dark, sticky fruit and would be great alongside a nutty cheese like an aged Gouda. The brewery’s Red Barn, a farmhouse ale with a little kick from ginger and black pepper, contrasts nicely with a buttery triple-cream Brie or a runny, washed-rind cheese; the carbonation of the beer offsets the richness of the cheese. And with the most pungent cheese, such as a blue-veined Stilton, try a barleywine. The American versions of this strong ale are big both in body and flavors of toffee, dried fruit and malt, but the beers have an addition of bittering hops that keep them from being cloying; AleSmith’s Old Numbskull and Stone’s Old Guardian are good local examples.

Chocolate
Chocolate and stout make a tasty, complementary duo; the flavor of roasted cacao beans is echoed by the toasted barley malt. The beer provides respite from the mouth-coating sweetness of chocolate, but it can also be so silky-smooth that it drinks like dessert. Alpine Beer Company’s Captain Stout is an easily drinkable example; it smells of coffee and tastes like malt and chocolate, with a pleasant, dry finish. Bottles are available in stores, but it’s also fun to visit the brewery for a growler of the treat they call The Captain and Vanil — a mix of the stout and a vanilla-flavored wheat beer. Another favorite is the Double Stout from Green Flash Brewing Company. Sweet, soft and well-balanced, this imperial stout was the winner at a friend’s recent truffle-and-beer tasting.
 

More »Related Stories

Wake Up And Smell the Coffee

As American coffee culture moves past the nonfat vanilla lattes toward a more elevated brew, San Diego is right on trend

Celebrate the Craft

Slow food feast returns to The Lodge

Cheese on Tap at Bottlecraft

The best of beer and the best of cheese—together at last

Most Popular

  1. Secret San Diego
    Psst! You didn’t hear it from us, but this town has all kinds of "hidden gems" (yes, we said it). And we’re not talking ghost stories at the Hotel Del.
  2. The Best of Ensenada
  3. Culture and Cocktails Goes Nautical July 10th
    Seafaring photo booths, locally-sourced, Ballast Point Cocktails, a not-to-miss summer exhibition...interested yet?
  4. The Ultimate Fourth of July Guide
    Festivals, food, and fireworks—the essential combination for celebrating Independence Day in San Diego. Here’s what’s happening around town this weekend.
  5. Best of San Diego: Food & Drink
  6. FIRST LOOK: Bottega Americano
    With Bottega Americano opening this weekend, Downtown gets its first gourmet food hall

Promotions

Best of Ensenada 2013

Where to eat, drink, sleep & play

Hawaii: Island Fresh

A handy guide to Hawaii's farmers markets

Connect With Us: