Beer, BBQ and A Salute to Fathers Everywhere
In Canada, Father’s Day is generally observed on the third Sunday of June. It is a day for people to show their appreciation for their fathers and father figures. In addition to gifts of homemade cards, bad ties and tools of all kinds, it’s often the perfect excuse for that quintessential summer barbeque.
When preparing for your special celebratory barbeque, the key is to think ahead:
• Plan your menu ahead of time and make sure to fill it with all your Dad’s favourites.
• Buy your ingredients and make any sauces, salads and desserts ahead of time, if possible. Make sure to prep and marinade any meat that requires it the night before.
• Check your barbeque supplies to ensure you have plenty of lighter fluid and coals, or, if you use a propane grill, check to make sure there's enough propane in the tank.
Tip: To easily check the level of propane in a tank, heat up a few cups of water to just boiling. Pour the water onto the side of the tank, making sure that you are pouring down the length of the tank. The hot water will react with the cold propane, condensing at the level of the propane in the tank.
• Find and give your barbeque utensils a quick cleaning. Another useful cooking tool to have on hand is a kitchen thermometer, which will help you determine if the meat is fully cooked to proper temperatures.
For many fathers, beer and barbeque go hand-in-hand. Many people aren’t aware that beer can be paired with food, just like wine can. In fact, some experts suggest that beer actually has more of a flavour range than wine when it comes to pairing with food. So, pairing the right beer with the right food can make all the difference between having a good barbecue and a great one. Keep in mind the following suggestions to help make your Father’s Day barbeque special:
• A flavorful dark beer complements all cuts of steak, pork, game, lamb, potatoes, cooked vegetables, and almost anything off the barbeque. The rich, sharp flavor of the ale complements the sweet and smooth flavour of meat.
• Barbeque food is often smothered in a sweet and tangy sauce, which pairs nicely with the rich and smooth flavor of a brown ale.
• A great complement for dark ales are foods or sauces with mustard. The tangy and sour note of the mustard melds with the hops’ acidity in beer, and is balanced by the thick malt residual sugars in ales.
• Both beer and cheese, both carefully nurtured in an ancient fermentation process, are a natural pairing. Semi-soft cheeses, Muenster, Gouda, Havarti, Port Salut, American, Colby, Monterey Jack and similar cheeses all go well with more energetic and flavorful beers such as English brown ales.
• Beer is often used to steam clams and mussels and other shellfish, which are popular dishes for summer barbeques and dining.
• Beer can also add an incredible amount of flavour to a thick chili with meat and spices, great on the side burner of the barbeque while the meat and veggies are grilling.
In general, most barbecued foods are relatively rich and full bodied. The caramelization and smoke flavors that the food takes on through fire grilling are strong and distinct in flavour. That’s why, for many grilled foods, more full-bodied and robust beers will stand up to and complement the flavours best.
So this June 19th raise an ale to your Dad and toast the great summer barbeque tradition. Cheers!