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Wednesday Food: Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness…

DSCF2620Autumn has arrived in Chicago.  Despite the muggy low 80s we’ve experienced the last few days, the season has turned and I know exactly when it took place.

It was last Tuesday that I stopped by my favorite liquor store for supplies before a night butchering ears of corn.  I thought it was a touch early for seasonal brews to hit the shelves, even most retailers had yet to festoon their displays with autumnal decor.  Much to my surprise, there, next to the Unearthly Imperial IPA was Southern Tier‘s Pumking Ale.  More will be said on the specifics of this beer in a later post, but it was somewhere in between pouring myself a glass and running my knife against the cob of corn that a palpable change transpired– suffice it to say, fall had arrived.

What makes this magnificent season of decay different from years previous is that in addition to looking for new late-harvest recipes I am making every effort to match specific beers with each dish.  Luckily I will be visiting my beer guy in Grand Rapids this weekend who I am certain, in light of a recent (reluctant) retirement from veganism, will have some interesting suggestions.  That said, please make use of the comment space to offer up your favorite seasonal dish and/ or any brews you think appropriate.

With any luck I will have brewery visits to report next week (Founders I hope, Bell’s maybe, Three Floyds if I dare again) and perhaps results from a local Octoberfest & Pumpkin Beer Festival, also scheduled next week.  Until then, may the leaves crunch satisfyingly beneath your feet.


September 23, 2009 - Posted by | Wednesday Food


  1. Ah fall, my favorite food season. Apples and squash, fresh tomatoes galore and…ales?? Alas, I give away my vintage but am compelled to inform you that after you’ve fested and exhausted your trendy yearning for yeast, my loyal friends, the famous California duo Ernest & Julio Gallo (or simply “the brothers” for someone as familiar as I am)have produced a tried and true blend, mellowed in the finest aged oak resulting in an ‘extra smooth’ (says so right on the label)E&J Brandy which I have found pairs fabulously with ANY and EVERY dish. I would like to try it with a slice of PumpkinBeer Pie. Please explore this possiblity between belches and bratwurst. Much love ebolden! (Your auntie)

    Comment by bonita | September 24, 2009

  2. I love it when i see Pumpkin Ale on the shelves! That’s when I feel that fall has finally arrived. Haven’t had a chance to do much fall recipe testing (this nasty flu is getting in the way!) but I’ll be sure to pass some recommendations on once I have them.

    Comment by Hill | September 24, 2009

  3. Thanks to your ravings of its superiority to other pumpkin ales, last season I went on a crusade to find the Holy Grail that is Southern Tier’s Pumpkin Ale. But, alas, my quest was to no avail. Apparently, this festively delicious ale is not served on this coast. East Coast 1, West Coast 0. You’re ahead now, but we’ll see where you’re at when Vanessa gets another teeth-chattering phone call of you running in subzero weather. Muahahaha.

    Until then, I’ll brood in jealously while you enjoy your city of obvious season changes and your delicious Southern Tier’s Pumpkin Alea.

    Comment by Sarah | September 25, 2009

  4. I recently went to a beer and food tasting with Richard Fox, who has written a beer and food cookbook. He talked about one of his recipes, a butternut squash and goat’s cheese risotto, that I think would work well with pumpkin. He replaces the white wine with Hoegaarden, but I’m sure you could replace it with a local beer with similar flavours.

    Comment by thomaslynch | September 26, 2009

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