Beer with Cajun Food

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Nosybear, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Okay, second Christmas party dilemma: What to pair with Cajun food? We're doing a Cajun Christmas party and of course, I've been tapped to do the beers. While I have a Vienna Lager that would go great with it and a honkin' big Saison finishing up in the basement (it's the "90° Saison") that would bring some etouffee to life, I have to have something for the faint of heart. So the Dry Dock had an "Albatross Brown" that I thought would be really good with some crayfish and gumbo and being in a "mad scientist" phase, here's the result for your viewing pleasure:

    http://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/r ... -brown-ale

    Chess: If you haven't tried the Albatross, do so, it's a very sweet brown - what do you think about pairing it with some deep-fried gator? I've just kicked it up to 8.5% and added some sugar to make it drinkable. My other idea is something I've done before, renamed "Cousin Boudreaux's Pale Ale", a fairly sweet, malty pale ale with lots of hop character - probably Amarillo finish, a touch of Centennial and Citra, with the organic Crystal in FWH. Any other ideas for Cajun pairing?

    Now wash your minds out with soap....
     
  2. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    El Dorado hops just sounds cool...

    No idea what beer to pair with Cajun food, other than something rum infused???
     
  3. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    Smoke beers go great with spicy food. A Rauchbier may be a bit much, but a lighter smoked beer (less smoked, not a light beer) that is drinkable, and low enough in ABV to be consumed by the pint.

    SWMBO is taking me to the Dry Dock next week for my annual birthday evening of consumption, and is serving as my designated driver. I will try it then.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    What night, I'll buy you a pint!
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Had some excellent crawfish etouffee today and of course, beers. The Lost Cajun restaurant in Frisco is an excellent little stop and is run by friendly people. When I told the server I was on a mission, to pair Cajun food and beer, the owner came over and gave me two beers free! In exchange I'll take him a bottle or three of whatever I come up with but sweet and malty seem to be the key words. Tomorrow, SWAMBO is making Jambalaya, so I'll put it up against several of my sweet, malty brews as well as an IPA that's closer to a Pale Ale. So I'm thinking of a very sweet, very strong, lightened a la Belgian, brown ale with some chicory in the blend and a "blackened" pale ale, basically a pale ale with a couple of ounces of debittered chocolate malt and, based on the Abita beers served, I'm liking Willamette hops for the finish.

    Thoughts?
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    SWAMBO did the jambalaya, I've blown a week of weight loss on it and the winner is.... Vienna Lager! Mine is like Negra Modelo but much better, malty, sweet and just about perfect for Cajun. I can see why the style survived in Mexico - it would pair well with Mexican, too. So I'm going to do the "Voulez Vous?" but hold my Vienna in reserve in case VV doesn't work.

    And then, there's "Cousin Boudreau's Blackened Pale Ale" for the hopheads and spicy lovers....
     
  7. Guidry

    Guidry New Member

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    OK! Found the thread! Cajun food typically has a decent amount of spice, so you need something that's got some bold flavor also otherwise it'll be hidden by the spices. If your beer isn't noticable, you might as well serve bud light. At least no one would have to taste it.

    There's a little brewery down here in a small town in the heart of Cajun country called "Bayou Teche Brewing". It's a real down to eather brewery owned by a couple of brothers and operated mainly by relatives. You visit the brewery and I will guarantee that you'll find their new brew test batches fermenting in white ale pails in their office. Same buckets you use. They basically brew beers they believe pair well with Cajun food....Makes sense, eh? The two I like most and feel go best with traditional Cajun food are the Biere Noire, which is a dark schwarzbier, like a black ale with smokey flavor. Goes real good with gumbo, jambalaya, and etouffee. The other of my favorites is a new brew by them called Cocodrie, which is Cajun for alligator. It's an IPA....They actually call it a Belgian Tripel IPA. It has a good strong European hop flavor combined with belgian yeast. It's kinda the opposite of the first one I mentioned, but it also goes well with spicey stuff.

    So, my summary, if I could brew the styles really well, I'd go with a smoked brew, maybe throw some smoked chips in the secondary and some kind of IPA (I like IPA's and I think with bold flavored foods, they work well). With an IPA I would stay away from the citrusy hops for this though.
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Guidry - thanks. Yes, I can brew the styles. Here's what I have going now that might work:

    - An Oktoberfest and a Vienna Lager (essentially the same beer with a different accent)
    - A Grodziskie - a smoked wheat very light beer
    - A "blackened pale ale", a pale ale with some Crystal 120 (raisiny flavor), some Midnight Wheat (hence the "blackened" and seasoned with a bit of black pepper and cayenne. This is for the bold spice lovers - the hop bitterness will reinforce the spice
    - An "Imperial" English Brown Ale I intend to finish with a bit of Chicory

    No time to do the Schwarzbier but I can imagine it works. I think the Vienna will work nicely!

    Thx!
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If Chessking would share his wonderful recipe with me, I could do a Rauchbier, too....
     
  10. chessking

    chessking New Member

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  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You still haven't proven to me that ham glaze isn't a bad fermentable! THX!
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Okay, was playing around with Cousin Boudreaux tonight - the ale, I'm way too far from Cajun country to play with an actual cousin of that name! Anyway, here's the general idea....

    http://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/r ... d-pale-ale

    Wandering through Penzey's Spices, I happened to sniff some dried chipotle peppers and that, my friends, was the missing link, the flavor I wanted in this beer. Got some and brought it home, got out my cheapest vodka and made up a tincture of one small chipotle pod, 10 peppercorns, cracked in 25 ml of vodka. After it had steeped for a few hours, I started mixing, first one ml in 25 ml, lame. Then adding in more peppercorns, interesting... Long story short I settled on 2 ml of tincture, one of chipotle and one of cracked black peppercorns, in 25 ml, which I scaled up to one gallon (150 ml of tincture). This is not a beer to pair with anything other than something very sweet, although I could see it with boiled shrimp. It has the spice - first lesson learned is unless you want liquid fire, seed the peppers. But it's good stuff. I'll scale it up for the Christmas party.

    Voulez-vous came out a bit solventy, I kind of expected it to because I was using the yeast too warm but that did two things for me: I now know the taste of too-warm fermentation and I know the basic idea is sound so it, too, will be scaled up for the Christmas party.

    Laissez les bons temps rouler.
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Next iteration of Cousin Boudreaux - didn't like the "heat" the peppers provided but loved the smoky-peppery flavor. So this is the idea:

    - Roast anchos (10 oz), seeded, in secondary
    - 1# Rauchmalz steeped with all the dark grains, added to the boil

    Should get me smoke and pepper without the heat and should work nicely with the floral Willamette hops! I could throw in some of my Crystal for a bit more flowers....

    Thoughts?
     

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