This post was originally published on March 21, 2016.
Beers and Spears was a delicious way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Denver this past weekend. A little over a year ago I wrote about The Real Dill, a pickling company right in the heart of Denver’s Santa Fe neighborhood that also makes a mean Bloody Mary mix. The Real Dill teamed up with Denver Beer Co. to create a beer and pickle flight, including four different brews (one mixed with TRD’s Bloody mix) and four pickled items. All of the beers, except the Sun Drenched, were specialty firkins meaning they were brewed exclusively for this event. The flight included:
- Sun Drenched American Ale with TRD Bloody Mix paired with Kimchi Pickled Brussels Sprouts (made just for the event): Sun Drenched is a combo between an American wheat and an IPA with citrusy floral notes made for Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine.
- Thai Peanut Butter Ale paired with the Thai Chile Ginger Dill: Thai Peanut Butter Ale is a brown ale made with peanut butter, Thai chilies, and ginger.
- Kaffir Lime Saison with fresh Persian Lime Zest paired with the Habanero Horseradish Dill: Kaffir Lime Saison is a Belgian/French saison with the addition of Kaffir lime leaves.
- Pineapple Mango Sun Drenched Ale paired with the Caraway Garlic Dill: Pineapple Mango Sun Drenched Ale is an IPA with the addition of pineapple and mango.
I love beer and I love pickles, but the obvious pull for me was the Sun Drenched Ale with TRD’s Bloody mix and kimchi pickled brussels sprouts (because this is Bloody Mary Tour, right?). The hoppy aroma of the beer paired perfectly with the spicy, dill-laden Bloody mix. It was like a “craft” Michelada in my mind and the kimchi pickled brussels sprouts were the finishing touch to this delectable combination. My second favorite pairing was the Thai Peanut Butter Ale with the Thai Chile Ginger Dill. If you have ever been to Thailand (or if you like Thai food), you know very well how the flavor combination of peanut, spicy chilies, and ginger tastes exceptional. The rich, nutty flavor of the Peanut Butter ale contrasted well with the spicy heat of the Thai Chile Ginger Dill (after trying all of TRD’s pickle flavors, I think I can safely say this one is my new favorite!). The other pairings were also delicious, but did not stand out as much as the Sun Drenched/TRD mix/kimchi brussels sprouts and Thai Peanut Butter Ale/Thai Chile Ginger Dill. Additionally, I started my day at the Denver Beer Co. with a glass of the Kaffir Lime Saison on its own prior to having a beer and pickle flight. The Kaffir Lime was a nice saison full of carbonation and fruity flavors for a nice spring day.
Though you will likely have to wait another year for the next Beers and Spears, Denver Beer Co. is a great place to grab a brew especially now that temperatures are warming! The brewery/taproom has a big patio outside where you can bask in the Colorado sunshine, beer in hand, while sitting on big wooden picnic tables. The Real Dill products can be found in a lot of Colorado grocery stores or ordered online. I highly recommend trying a bottle of their Bloody Mary mix and some of them good ol’ Thai Chile Ginger Dills once they are released to the public in April!