So many great things in life happen by asking the question "what if". What if I rub these two sticks together... FIRE!! What if I combine a Tiger and a Lion together? LIGER... Awesome. Such is the question often times when wine makers taste the fruits of their labor and decide... you know what would make this taste better? A different wine! This has happened more and more often with brewers as they've found that a beer that might be average, combined with another beer that is slightly average can actually make a pretty decent beer. The most recent example I can think of the is Rasberry UFO from Harpoon. At an event of theirs about two years ago, (prior to the official release) one of the marketing guys we were hanging out with during the day came up to me and said... "Dude, if you don't like the raspberry beer, try THIS". Offically, about a year and a half ago they took the two beers, the UFO (Unfiltered offering)and the Raspberry Hefeweisen and combined them together to make a beer that I think pairs well with food around the holidays, the Raspberry UFO.
Unofficially this is the case with a lovely little drink affectionately called "the dirty ho". It's an invention thanks to the Sunset Grill & Tap in Allston, MA. I've never been, but they boast the largest beer menus in Boston and one of the hottest pepper sauces on record... what could be bad about that?! My friends Mark & Shaina introduced me to the concept last night and at first, I thought they were going to bastardize one of my favorite beers by mixing it one of my LEAST favorites. Hoegaarden on it's own is a great beer particularly for summer. It's got a lemony zip, it's light, refreshing and just a fine example of a Belgian Witbier. The beer they mixed it with is Lindeman's Framboise Lambic. On it's own it is overpowering with it's cavity creating sweetness and it is a beer I know from experience not one to be had on its own. At first I was honestly not thrilled at the prospect. In general, I hate truly fruity beers as they tend to be syrupy, weird tasting and generally nasty principally due to the use of extract instead of real fruit. A hint of fruit is one thing... a slap in the face is quite another! The way this drink was prepared made the difference. Pour the entire 12 oz Hoegaarden into a true pint glass. (12 oz into a 16 oz glass... do the math!). Pour Carefully as you don't want too much head. (no joke necessary... too easy). Add about 2-3 oz of Lambic, stir sip & voila, a easy, cheap & LEGAL way to get a dirty ho into your house! The taste is hard to describe, but suffice it to say, it tastes better than cheap perfume and shame. There's a hint of Raspberry, but with the acidity and light herb flavor of the Hoegaarten. This is a recipe also reminicint of a drink I had at a Pub in London in the late 90s. 1 oz of Black Currant Liqueur, 1 whole Guinness. It's a pretty good concoction, plus a blood red head on your beer is kind of a cool touch!
Well, I've made up for some lost time on my posts! Next blog, Dogfishhead's Raison D'etre!
REMINDER: Get your tickets for the American Craft Brewers fest in Boston! I'll be there with several of my brew loving friends!