I still remember the first time I tried drinking an India pale ale, or "IPA." At my favorite local beer bar, I asked the bartender if I could try a sample of Boulder Brewing Company's "Mojo IPA." After one sip, I thought "JESUS CHRIST, that's too strong!" So, I drank a different beer. Then, for reasons beyond my explanation, I wanted to order a glass of Mojo IPA.
Something about the flavor of hops is enticing and enchanting. Hops are indeed bitter little monkeys, but they impart citrusy, floral, piney, and earthy flavors, depending on the variety and how much are used in a batch of beer. Americna IPAs happen to be the hoppiest of all beers, and their intense bite and sharpness makes them a perfect pairing for barbecue.
An India pale ale melds perfectly with spicier varieties of barbecue. A beer such as Bear Republic's zesty, brownish colored "Hop Rod Rye" would pair beautifully with Texas-style salt and pepper beef barbecue. Go nuts with the pepper, add a dash of hot sauce, and you've got a great pairing. Smuttynose "Finestkind" IPA, a particularly bitter unfiltered ale with a distinct grapefruit-ish flavor, could stand up to tangy, peppery Carolina pork barbecue.
Are you man enough to handle the hops? Or woman enough? Tell us about your favorite IPA. And as always, if you need advice about more kinds of beer to serve with your barbecue, just ask us! Inquiries may be sent to email@example.com.
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