Your Beermonger: Valentine’s Recommendations

Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway)

So maybe it’s the day after Valentine’s Day but I know many couples who, when it lands in the middle of the week, choose to celebrate over the weekend. While it may be more traditional to have a nice bottle of Champagne or to pair some wine with a romantic dinner, there are some beers out there that I think would be appropriate for a nice romantic evening.

Biere Brut: Beers modeled after Champagne can fit right in, especially for those who have some issues with the acidity of Champagne or get too dried-out from the carbonation. Not every Biere Brut is a no-brainer, however; as much as I enjoy Mikkeller’s Nelson Sauvin Brut IPA, it’s a little funky with wild yeast character to just throw out there. I’d recommend the cidery floral notes of Deus or the Rose Champagne-styled l’Equilibrista from Italy’s Birra del Borgo. l’Equilibrista, in particular, would work quite well with a chocolate and fruit plate dessert. Speaking of chocolate:

Chocolate Stouts: Snag a 12 or 22oz bottle of a rich, chocolaty Stout and split it over dessert. Heavy Seas Siren Noire is currently available and carries a nice balance of cocoa flavor and dry Stout character. Southern Tier Choklat is outstanding poured over ice cream, if you’re making dessert at home. Evil Twin Aun Mas a Jesus would be a nice small-bottle replacement for a Ruby Port, and I’ve recommended it in the past as just that.

Blatant Pandering: The recently (in bottles anyway) released Lost Rhino Pretty In Pink sports a bright pink label containing a Saison-style Ale using pomegranates. A collaboration of local female beer pro’s (Lost Rhino’s Becky Jordan, Hardywood’s Rachael Cardwell, Kristi Mathews Griner—at the time of Vintage 50 but soon to be head brewer at Capitol City Brewing Company, and Megan Parisi of the soon-to-open Bluejacket in DC), proceeds from Pretty In Pink go toward breast cancer research. Not only is the beer for a good cause, but its blend of bright, Saison character and fruitiness is fun and refreshing. Another beer that comes to mind is Lower Dens from Stillwater Artisanal Ales; another Saison, Lower Dens uses spelt malt and hibiscus flowers to create a Farmhouse-style Ale that has a clean palate with rustic, grainy notes and a present but not overwhelming influence from the flowers.

Whatever you end up drinking this Valentine’s Day, I hope you enjoy it with the one you love. Until next time.

Cheers!

Nick Anderson maintains a blog at www.beermonger.net, and can be found on Twitter at @The_Beermonger. Sign up for Arrowine’s money saving email offers and free wine and beer tastings at www.arrowine.com/mailing-list-signup.aspx. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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