Name: Left Hand Brewing Company
Location: Longmont, CO
Type: Production Brewery
Available in DC Market: Yes (Since March 2014!)
What you need to know: Founded by friends (and homebrewers) Dick Doore and Eric Wallace in 1993, Left Hand Brewing Company is an innovative, GABF award-winning brewery churning out unique beers from Longmont, CO. Now distributed in 27 states, Left Hand is responsible for one of the most interesting innovations in recent craft beer history: the bottling of nitrogenated (if that ain’t a word, it is now) beer without a widget in the bottle. They’ve been in Virginia for a bit now, but have recently started distribution in DC, so expect to see more of them in the coming months as they find their way into the #DCBrews market.
Beer #1: Milk Stout (Sweet/Milk Stout / 6% ABV)
In Their Own Words: “Roasted malt and coffee flavors build the foundation of this creamy sweet stout. Milk sugar in your stout is like cream in your coffee. Dark and delicious, America’s great milk stout will change your perception about what a stout can be. ‘Preconceived notions are the blinders on the road to enlightenment.’ Udderly delightful.”
Food Pairing: Espresso-Crusted Bison on Black Bread (Bison loin crusted in espresso and seared. Served on a very thin black bread crisp with plum chutney)
Our Thoughts: Left Hand Milk Stout is a classic – one of the standard-bearers for the style among U.S. craft brewers (with Duck-Rabbit being the other that comes to mind). Thick, viscous and sweet, expect this beer to coat your tongue with stoutness and deliver a moderate punch of coffee flavor before it mellows out in the finish. It’s not explicitly stated on SAVOR’s website, but I’m personally hoping that they’re bringing the Nitro version of this beer, as the gentler carbonation really plays to this beer’s strengths. I recently tweeted that I was happy about the number of stouts being paired with savory dishes at SAVOR this year, but I have to say that I have my doubts about this one. Left Hand Milk Stout is first and foremost a sweet beer, so color me skeptical on this particular pairing. That being said, the addition of plum chutney to the bison should align the flavors more than the crusted bison alone.
Beer #2: Polestar Pilsner (German Pilsner / 5.5% ABV)
In Their Own Words: “A zesty German-style pilsner with great buscuity malt flavor and a dry, crisp finish. Once you have tasted a true Pilsner, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have seen the light, and there you will always long to return. Let Polestar guide you out of the wilderness, just as the North Star has guided explorers to their destinations and back home again. Light, crisp and elegant, pilsner is the true test of brewing prowess. Less is more.”
Food Pairing: Salmon Ceviche (Chilled, lime-marinated salmon ceviche served with crème fraiche)
Our Thoughts: When you’re wandering around SAVOR, your palate torn asunder by stouts and sours and DIPAs, consider Polestar your oasis in the desert. A solid representation of a classic Germal pils, expect a clean, dry, and slightly bitter finish with some herbal hop notes coming through to keep it interesting. The bright flavors of a pils will play wonderfully with the chilled fish, allowing it to shine through, while the refreshing finish will help cut the richness of the crème fraiche. This should be a fantastic pairing.
This profile is a part of the DCBeer.com SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2014 SAVOR participants.