Our dinner was inspired by these two magnificent ales from two of the biggest and perhaps oldest contemporary American craft brewers, Boston Beer Company, AKA Sam Adams, and Sierra Nevada Brewing of Chico, California. Founded in 1984 and 1980 respectively, they are arguably among the fathers of the modern American craft beer movement.
Both of these exemplary brewers have gotten a lot more creative lately, perhaps because they are seeing a lot more competition. Competition is good and these two are winners.
Diana made this salad of Yellow Squash, Pea Shoots, Snap Peas, Sea Salt, Lemon and Olive Oil.
Really a nice combination. The squash is from Ritchfield Farms in Clifton. Pea Shoots from Trader Joes's.
A light vibrant contrast to the very rich flavors of the beers.
The Sam Adams "Dark Depths Baltic IPA" is described as "Dark, and fierce, this English porter was transformed, from a mild ale to a dark and complex lager that confounds definition."
Well yes that may be true, but you taste this and you will say "whoa, that's good." It is probably too intense if you have been sipping Coors or Corona lately. I would suggest that you venture out and expand your beer palate. There are many wonderful drinks to explore.
This beer is very finely crafted with rich roasted malts and striking citrusy hops. It is a type of brew we really like, balanced and flavorful. Both these beers are limited release, and you may never see them again after the summer of 2012.
To make it exciting I shook on these flavorful spices. Another way to make your dinner exceptional.
The second beer from Sierra Nevada, is called "Southern Hemisphere Harvest." If you're a beer "aficionado" (another word for drunk) like me you might say, "Hey wait, I thought Harvest Beers came out in the Fall."
That is usually true, but guess what. The hops used for making this beer are from New Zealand. So here's the story. Fall harvest in New Zealand is during our spring, the hops for this ale are dried in NZ immediately after being picked to retain their flavor and aroma and then flown directly to California for brewing.
They say that "This is the first time we know of that an American brewer has put out a beer with fresh-picked hops from the southern hemisphere. The inaugural ale features fresh Pacific Hallertau, New Zealand Motueka and New Zealand Southern Cross hops, all from New Zealand."
Let me tell you both these beers were awesome. See more of our beer articles here.