Labor Day Brews, NYC Style

I stumbled across this article about uncommon beers to try with Labor Day cooking, written by Rachel Wharton of NYC. Hope you will enjoy!

Butte Creek Organic PorterAfter the Super Bowl, Labor Day is one of the top-ranked occasions for beer sales nationwide. Such a special day deserves a special beer, so here are 10 great craft beers – all small-batch, extremely flavorful and made with care – picked especially for the weekend by Jay Steinhauer of Brooklyn’s American Beer (256 Court St., 718-875-0226). Just be sure to go before Sunday: Beer sellers need breaks, too.

If you’re grilling burgers – who isn’t? – you need a beer that can stand up to multiple flavors yet not overpower. This Butte Creek Organic Porter from Chico, Calif., is a nice blend of an ale and a stout, says Steinhauer. For hot dogs, on the other hand, try a Pilsner. $7.99/six-pack

In Avery Brewing Co.’s Ellie’s Brown Ale, says Steinhauer, “there are distinct chocolate and coffee notes,” so it’s a perfect partner for a plate of brownies. Made in Colorado, “it’s one of the best brown ales in the world,” he says. $7.99/six-pack

For grilled salmon with teriyaki or another Asian-style marinade, Steinhauer likes the complexity and “mineral quality” of Bam Biere – from “exceptionally good” Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales in Dexter, Mich. It’s a funky, fizzy farmhouse ale. $9.99/six-pack

Piraat Ale from Belgium “is supposed to be one of the top five beers in the world,” says Steinhauer, “and I think they might be right.” It balances the flavors of a sharp Cheddar cheese-spiked potato chip, though it’s nice with just the cheese, too. $3.99/bottle

Bam Biere of Jolly Pumpkin Artisian AlesSlow-smoked, spice-rubbed ribs, says Steinhauer, were made for the intense Spezial Rauchbier lager, made with smoked malt. (Kind of like smoked meats, lagers are slowly fermented at lower temperatures, too.) “This beer,” says Steinhauer, “is especially good.” $4/bottle

If you’re grilling a steak, you need a richly flavored beer “that can stand up to the meat,” says Steinhauer. And Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., a small producer in Pleasantville, N.Y., delivers. This lovely 750 milliliter bottle of St. Vincent Dubbel Belgian-style ale is delicious, and it comes emblazoned with a hot rod, too. $15.99/bottle

Most Mexican beers are light “thirst-quenchers” from German recipes, says Steinhauer, and so is Penn Gold American Ale from Pennsylvania Brewing Co. “If somebody likes Budweiser,” says Steinhauer, “they’re going to like this stuff; it’s better.” Great with guacamole, salsas and Mexican food. $7.99/six-pack

Hot wings on the menu? Steinhauer recommends an amber ale that’s “not going to get lost” in the midst of all the spice. Crop Circle Beer’s Extraterrestri-Ale can take the heat. It’s brewed by Blue Point Brewing Co. out on Long Island. $5.99/four-pack

Potato salads, slaws and other sides can be all over the map, but you can quaff the lower-alcohol,hoppy, flavorful yet food-friendly Ruth All American Ale while you try all of them. “It’s excellent,” says Steinhauer, and it’s made by Hair of the Dog in Portland, Ore. $16.99/six-pack

Forget a Bud for that beer-can chicken: Belgian Bavik lager is one of Steinhauer’s easy-drinking faves that goes well with poultry: “I love that beer.” Good with seafood, too. $6.99/six-pack.



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