Last Wednesday, Jeff & I went to a burger and Short’s beer tasting at Sidetracks in Ypsilanti. We love their food and would go any time, but the lure of Short’s was just too much to resist. Sidetracks (actually, the event was at Frenchie’s) was awesome–they did a super job of pairing beer and food that complimented each other. Without further ado, here is what we sampled last night:
The appetizer was acorn squash baked with apple cider paired with Autumn Ale. This beer was an ESB with a delicious malty mouthfeel and bitter aftertaste. It went perfectly with the squash. I normally do not care for squash but when I took a bite and then swished beer in my mouth, I found it quite enjoyable.
Next, we a mac’n’cheese “burger”, which was Sidetracks’ mac’n’cheese (mmmmm) with ground up beef in it (#kosherfail). This was paired with Short’s Bloody Beer that I have heard a ton about but never tried. It was good, but not at all what I expected. I think I expected it to taste more like Mike O’Brien’s chips’n’salsa beer. This beer had a nose that was all tomatoes, but not a huge tomato-y taste. I could pick out a hint of the dill, peppercorn and horseradish that was also used in the recipe.
The third course was Short’s Black Cherry Porter with a black cherry & goat cheese burger. I do not like goat cheese (email me privately to hear my rather off-color description of what it tastes like) so I had to scrape it off. This made it a #notkosherfail! Unfortunately, the black cherries were also in the cheese so I missed out on that. What I didn’t miss out on though was the beer! Do not be scared off of this beer, thinking it’s a “fruit” beer because it doesn’t taste like what you might be thinking of. It is made with pureed black cherries and does have a nice cherry aftertaste. The overwhelming taste, however, is that of a robust and delicious porter.
Next, we had Abnormal Genius and a peanut butter and bacon burger. Naturally, I had to pick the bacon out (#kosherwin!) but the remaining food was still lovely. Peanut butter and meat, who’d have thunk it? Again, the beer was a perfect match. Made with honey and sunflower seeds, brewed in 2006 and named after Joe Short himself, this beer is incredible. It smelled like a mead, tasted like a beer. There was a nice hit of honey up front that quickly mellowed into a nutty flavor.
Lastly, we had a baked pear with ginger creme paired with Ginger in the Rye. This beer was my favorite of the night, much to my surprise. I am not a huge fan of ginger (unless it’s Vernors) and so I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. Brewed in 2007, this beer has Hefe yeast and (of course) plenty of rye and ginger. It was on the lighter side, without the heavy ginger flavor that I don’t care for.
By the way, I did bring my camera but I was starving and thirsty and everything got eaten and drank up too quickly for pictures. But you all are smart and can use your imagination. Or heck, take a drive up to Short’s and try some of these beers for yourself!
Not all goat cheese tastes like _________ (fill in the blank) but the problem I have found is the unpredictability of how awful or how delicious (at least acceptable) it can be. This pairing sounded like fun with good food and good drink to boot.