Beer Break Vol. 2, No. 33
Alternatives: Music and beers
May 30, 2002
We've written before about the challenges of pairing beer and music. Some of
you may even find it off topic, but it can be hard to resist (don't worry,
we'll include plenty of beer suggestions). In this case, Marty Jones & the
Pork Boilin' Poor Boys have a new CD out, called Full Boar, and it's full of
If you've spent much time hanging out in Colorado beer circles, you should
know the band. Marty Jones writes about beer for a variety of publications,
and the band plays often at craft beer events. They are one of the reasons
that the Colorado Brewers Rendezvous (July 6 this year) in Salida, Colo., is
one of the best beer festivals anywhere. As much fun as the new CD is, this
is a group you must see live to truly appreciate.
OK, it helps if you like "Americana" or "alt country" music. Despite the
success of the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack such music is even
harder to find on the radio than flavorful beer is in most bars and
restaurants. Maybe that's why we think the two go well together.
It's certainly why we asked Marty what beers he'd pair with selections from
the CD. You could take the same approach to figure out what beers to enjoy
with the music of Buddy and Julie Miller, of Tift Merritt or even Kasey
Chambers. It's mostly a matter of attitude. His suggestions:
"Full Boar goes well with any of Colorado's better, more ambitious craft
beers. Beers, that - like my group - aren't afraid to push the boundaries of
style for art (and fun's) sake. Avery's, highly-hopped, decadent Hog Heaven
ranks as a premier fit with Full Boar, for its title and full bore flavor.
Avery IPA also works, as does Flying Dog's Snake Dog IPA, another hoppy gem.
One of New Belgium's ambitious Belgian brews also works.
"'Match Made in Milwaukee' goes with a Pabst (one of my fave budget beers),
the beer that made Milwaukee famous. The song is a love song of two folks
(like my wife and I, you and yours and so many other couples) brought
together by a love of beer. Couples should enjoy the song with whatever beer
serves as their mutual, love-inspiring favorite. (Editor: Marty and his wife
renewed their wedding vows during a ceremony at the 2001 Great American Beer
"'Drivin' into Lincoln (with Drinkin' on my Mind)' was inspired a by a beer
hunting trip to Lincoln, Nebraska, the song goes well with an Nebraska craft
beer (Editor: Since those can be hard to find, Real Beer also suggests
looking for beer from Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City).
"'Now We Barely Pass (for a Couple)' features Mary Huff from Southern Culture
on the Skids (Chapel Hill, N.C.). So any choice Carolina craft beer goes well
with the tune. So do some of the goodies from Virginia (my home state), maybe
a Tucker's Hop Pocket or one of Dominion's other treasures.
"Other choices? We're an enemy of the diluted, dumbed-down music that radio
now tries to pass off for 'country' music. Garth Brooks and Brooks & Dunn
have little to do with the rich traditions built by Johnny Cash, Hank
Williams and more modern folks like Dwight Yoakam. Any beer that celebrates
brewing's rich past while adding to its future with passion, joy and good
taste is a good match for our 'barn rock', alt-country sound."
Find out more about the CD at www.martyjones.net. It comes with a money-back
guarantee of satisfaction.
A very nice note from Pete Mueller concerning last week's newsletter:
"Love the site and newsletter. I'd like to point out a slight error in the
latest issue (23 May). You state: '(Theakston) Old Peculier from Northern
England (that's a revival of the medieval spelling, which is part of the
"In fact, the word 'peculier' is an old Norman French word meaning
'particular' rather than odd, and had to do with the 'particular' situation
in Masham, where, according to Theakston's website, '... the bishop wasn't
too keen to make the dangerous trek to Masham from York, a journey that would
inevitably bring him face-to-face with various thieves and vagabonds. So the
cunning cleric freed Masham of 'all the customs and claims of his Archdeacons
and officials' - and established the independent Peculier Court of Masham to
deal with law. The chairman of the original court had a great seal made to
mark his decisions. The seal used today, and the modern symbol of all
Theakston beers, is based on this.' In fact, the area had it's own laws and
currency. Anyway, that's pretty nitpicky, I'm sure!
"Keep up the great work!"
Thanks, Pete, for the information and kind words.
GREAT NORTHERN PORTER
Brewed by Summit Brewing in Minnesota
Michael Jackson writes:
One of my favorite American porters. Licorice in the aroma; toffee and,
especially, spicy bitter chocolate in the palate; notably smooth and rounded;
satisfying without being satiating. I would take this out of the fridge until
the sharpest chill had gone, and drink it by the soothing pint on a cool
PENNANT PALE ALE
Brewed by Brooklyn Brewery in New York
Roger Protz writes:
When I was a kid in the post-war East End of London, a regular dish was bread
pudding, made from left-over bread, soaked in milk, dotted with raisins and
sultanas and cooked in the oven until brown. It is a smell and a taste I have
never forgotten, and Pennant Pale Ale reminds me forcefully of it. The palate
has a superb juicy malt attack and there is a quenching, tart hoppy balance.
The finish is long, with more delightful malt character, a dry note from the
darker malt and a lingering citric fruitiness from the hops. This is an
absolute joy to drink.