Backyard Beer-Tasting Party

In honor of beer's biggest festival, the owner's of Savannah's Moon River Brewing Company drafted a party menu, complete with frothy companions to match.

October Feast

Photo: Squire Fox

October Feast

The inspiration: A lowcounty dinner party at the Savannah, Georgia home of Moon River Brewing Company founder Gene Beeco.

Set the scene: As dusk approaches, gather everyone outdoors (under a beautful oak tree, if you can) at a table set with candles and surrounded by hanging lanterns.

Serve: Robust dishes in keeping with the autumn season, and beers to match.




Waldorf Salad Recipe

Photo: Squire Fox

Waldorf Salad

Apple-flavored yogurt gives this salad an extra boost of apple flavor while keeping it light in fat.

Try it with: Crispy Golden Ale

Roasted Garlic and Sun-dried Tomato Cheese Spread Recipe

Photo: Squire Fox

Roasted Garlic and Sun-dried Tomato Cheese Spread

Known locally as Ossabaw Dip, serve it on toasted baguettes with grilled shrimp.

Try it with: Belgian-style wheat beer

Crab Salad Recipe

Photo: Squire Fox

Crab Salad

This one needs to chill for at least an hour, making it an ideal candidate for making well ahead of party-time.

Try it with: Belgian-style wheat beer

Cassoulet with Bacon, Andouille, and Country Ribs Recipe

Photo: Squire Fox

Cassoulet with Bacon, Andouille, and Country Ribs

Chef Bob Waggoner, of Charleston Grill in Charleston, South Carolina, puts a Southern spin on the homey French country cassoulet by replacing the usual duck or goose confit with three varities of pork.

Try it with: Amber Oktoberfest-type lager

Beer-Food Pairings

Photo: Squire Fox

Beer, Meet Food

Like wine, beer can harmonize with food, making them both more enjoyable. Here are some tips for matchmaking success.

  • Rather than red wine, try ale, which has similar traits-fuller, more complex flavors, with hops standing in for tannins.
  • For white wine, substitute lager, which pairs well with poultry and fish. Lighter-bodies beers are generally a good choice for appetizers and lighter dishes.
  • Seek hoppyness: Hops give beer a variety of floral and other notes and impart a palate-pleasing edge that goes well with spicy or creamy dishes but can overwhelm more delicate ones. A hoppy ale plays well against the richness of salmon.
  • Complement flavors, matching sweet with sweet and tart with tart. A dry pale ale that pairs beautifully with a savory stew will clash with a dessert, but a sweeter, malty ale won't.
  • Contrast flavors. A dry stout is a classic match for chocolate cake. A full-bodied ale is a natural fit for a grilled steak, but a good lager can be a crisp foil for those smoky, juicy flavors.

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