Last night I was treated to one of the best food and beer pairings of my proverbial career, Mikkeller's "Beer Geek Breakfast" and Rouge Et Noir's "Triple Creme Brie".
The setting was my apartment in San Diego. The breakfast nook of our kitchen area to be precise. Andy, Beth, and I had just finished an exceptional meal of tomato and red wine braised beef shanks with olives and raisins (all prepared by Andy). The palatable beauty of the meal itself could be better expressed by my wife-to-be, so I'll guide you straight to the dessert course of the evenings dine.
Oatmeal stouts happen to be one of my favorite styles of beer for their deep, chocolaty malt flavor which is further accented to a slight sweetness by adding oatmeal. Beer Geek Breakfast is unique in that it is not only an oatmeal stout, but also a coffee stout. The coffee is more of a second thought in my opinion though. I would definitely call this an oatmeal stout if someone put a gun to my head.
Brie happens to be one of my favorite styles of cheese for its smooth, buttery texture and mildly sweet, creamy taste. Triple cream brie is a style that requires a 75% butterfat content as opposed to the weight watching 60% required for the title of double cream.
Back to the story...
A gentle swig of oatmeal coffee stout awakens my tongue's sweetness receptors which have been dormant for the past hour while the savory side of the house participated in a salty orgy of beef shanks, Katamala olives, and the like. Now that the walls of my mouth have been amply primed with the robust intentions of Mikkeller's earthly potion, I slip a kitchen knife through the soft folds of cheese utopia. Mere seconds later would my pupils dilate with enthusiasm as I showered expletive enhanced praise on the dessert gods. Just looking at the duo in front of me was like admiring a masterpiece of renaissance art. The dull, off white flatness of the brie sitting contently next to its faithful husband, a strong, powerful, dark stout with an inner sweetness you could only appreciate once you had gotten to know him. The celebration of consumption continued on until the last swallows of stout and the last blobs of brie had been married inside the chapel of my cheeks.
I would like to apologize for this entry not following the guidelines I set up to review beer on this blog. During dinner, we were being fairly liberal with our pours of New Belgium's Hoptober Fest(I blame good conversation), and I wasn't in any position to properly review a Mikkeller beer. I hope this recollection of my experience has tempted you to try one, if not both the stout and the brie though. I will absolutely be doing a formal review of a Mikkeller beer soon, in any event. If you aren't already familiar with this brewery, you have no time to waste in getting to know them. They are an incredible beer making machine, with dozens of brews to offer in almost every popular style. I will touch on that more with the official review though!
The Bottom Line
I love craft beer. Brewing it, drinking it, sharing it, and learning about it. There are some great websites out there that allow people to review craft beers, but I hate to rely on stranger's opinions of how good or bad a certain beer is! What I want to accomplish with this blog is to provide a constantly building stream of personal opinions, recommendations, and interesting information on various beer styles and breweries as I enjoy them. As the blog continues, I hope you will notice similarities and differences between our tastes and use this to help you in your exploration of the craft beer universe!