Last weekend, while preparing a meal of shrimp scampi to celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary, I had a brainstorm (or maybe a brain drizzle): Instead of opening a bottle of white wine just to get a half a cup of it for the saute, what if I used beer instead?
My wife (who is an outstanding cook) wasn't so sure it was a good idea. But for once I did not defer to her expertise and instead went to the basement in search of a good beer for the dish. (Incidentally, I used a slight variation of Mark Bittman's recipe, from his book "How to Cook Everything.")
Which to choose? I immediately rejected using a stout or other dark beer, which would not complement the seafood. A pumpkin ale? I think not. A Belgian? No, I want to drink those! An IPA? Too hoppy. Maybe a pale ale a hefeweizen. Good thought, but I didn't have either on hand. I almost grabbed a marzen (Oktoberfest), but then I spotted a bottle of Great Divide's Rumble, an oak aged IPA, on the shelf.
Interesting. The aging would have tamped down the hop profile, including the bitterness, and the wood accent might interact nicely to the shrimp. So in went about 3/4 of a bottle of Rumble, and my suspicions were validated: The beer was a terrific replacement for wine, adding a darker but more subdued character to the dish that wine might have.
About 99 Bottles