We've said it before - if we weren't in the quinoa biz, there just may have been a company called I Heart Beer. The obsession with ingredients, commitment to quality and flair for design involved in growing a craft beer business definitely parallels the keys to success in our own line of work.
Recently, we had a chance to meet up with three Chicago breweries that, let's be frank, are totally killing it on all three fronts right now. Check out our interviews with Metropolitan Brewery, Empirical Brewery and Arcade Brewery in this video, and try the expert pairing recommendations below.
Tracy Hurst, President & Co-Founder
Dynamo Copper Lager + Sea Salt Truffle Quinoa Puffs
The soft malt flavors of Dynamo compliment the salt and earthy flavors of the puffs without overpowering them. The puffs are so interesting on the palate, you want a beer that provides a backdrop flavor rather than a matching balance of flavors.
Krankshaft, Kolsch-style beer + Herbes de Provence Quinoa Puffs
One of my favorite pairings! The sunflower oil and herbs are brightly complemented by the lemony sweetness of the beer. The slight yeast aroma in the beer is highlighted, even celebrated by the sophisticated blend of herbs on the puffs. Delicious! I’ll be eating this pairing a lot.
Flywheel Bright Lager + Sweet Chili Quinoa Puffs
The sweet+spicy flavors of the Sweet Chili Quinoa Puffs is complimented by the well-balanced bitter+malty flavors in Flywheel Bright Lager . This pairing is all about balance. Flywheel cleanses the palate of the bright peppery flavor of the quinoa puffs.
More vegan pairing from Tracy are coming soon to the I Heart Keenwah blog!
Nevin McCown, Brewer
Infinity IPA + Sweet Chili Quinoa Puffs
Our Infinity IPA is very hoppy and resinous and is 79 IBUs. Hoppy beers pair very well with spicy foods in general, the hops help relieve some of that spiciness and similarly to the Double Helix, the strong flavor of the IPA can cut through the strong, spicy flavor of the Sweet Chili.
Double Helix Imperial IPA + Aged Cheddar Quinoa Puffs
Aged cheddar is a very strong flavor, so you need a beer that is equally strong. A low alcohol, light bodied beer won't cut through the flavor so we went with something that is high in alcohol with very strong hop flavors from all the Simcoe we used.
Phase Transition Porter + Chocolate Sea Salt Quinoa Clusters
We brewed our Porter with piloncillo, which is a raw brown sugar often used in desserts. English malts also give it flavors of dark chocolate, dried cherries and caramelized raisins, so it pairs well with the nutty, chocolate flavors in the clusters.
Chris Tourre, Founder
Gene's Sausage Bock + Almond Quinoa Clusters
Primordial Pair Pale Ale + Aged Cheddar Quinoa Puffs
Primordial Pair was created as a light and sessionable beer to eat with pizza, so what better pair that the aged cheddar? The slightly sweet and fruity beer allows the sharp and savory flavors to come through with the puffs. Both beer and snack are pretty straightforward and are a perfect game-time snack and beer.
Rye Resolution + Peanut Butter Cacao Quinoa Clusters
*Quinoa Clusters do not contain honey