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Wednesday Food: Holiday Beer Pairing Part 2

Temperatures have plummeted in the Midwest and snow is afoot.  Times like these call for well-developed, weighty beers.  You need something to mull over– you’ve got no place to be, even if you did you’d likely cancel because it’s so inhospitable out.

My usual appetite for hoppy, strong beers has been replaced by a craving for malty porters and rich stouts.  Like last week, I wanted to feature something that is widely available.  Old Jubilation Ale from Avery Brewing Company has become a new favorite.

Categorized as an English Strong Ale and weighing in at a solid 8% abv, it’s barely translucent and has a caramel-ruby color.  Greeting you is an eggnog-tinted, foamy head you could almost take for a stout.  When sampled it generates a sprightly but low-carbonated body.  The dominate flavor is toasty caramel with mild mocha, faintly contrasted by pine aromas.  Though the beer is not spiced I get a cinnamon aftertaste.

With a malty, medium-strong beer, a hearty and somewhat complex dish is needed.  Surrounded by holiday indulgence I wanted something that was healthy but would suitably compliment the beer.  A vegan sweet potato chili– adapted from about 6 different recipes– used the beer as an ingredient and tasted great along side it.    Sweet Potato Chili (Vegan)

  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo (or more to taste)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cut into small cubes
  • 28 oz can diced tomato
  • 12 oz bottle Old Jubilation, or comparable beer
  • 2 14 oz cans red kidney beans (or black beans) drained but not rinsed
  • green onions, cheese, or yogurt to garnish

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium-high in a large, heavy pot.  Cook the onion, pepper, and garlic until softened.  Add the spices and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook about 2 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, turn heat down to low, and simmer until potato is tender 30-45 minutes.  Garnish.


December 8, 2010 - Posted by | Wednesday Food


  1. Something to mull over, like a beer meant to be served heated???

    Just asking.

    Comment by ben | December 8, 2010

  2. 1. Intriguing!

    I went to my neighborhood brewery for the first time the other day. I tried three beers: Equinox, a sour ale, which was very sour. Like, way too sour. I couldn’t drink it. Manifesto, a white ale, which was fine. Finally, Solidarity, which I’ve had several times before and which is reliably delicious. These were accompanied by calamansi beef and chicken adobo sliders from the always amazing Manila Machine food truck.

    Comment by jms | December 8, 2010

  3. Quelque Chose is good stuff.

    Comment by ben | December 8, 2010

  4. Finally started into my Christmas beer phase. I tried St. Bernadus’s Christmas beer Tuesday night, and enjoyed it, but was also glad I didn’t pay the full 11.50 for it (they have a half-off Belgian special at this local pub during happy hour).

    I think I’ll move into some micros now. Rogue’s is always a favorite of mine.

    Comment by Dave Mesing | December 9, 2010

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