November 2, 2011 - 11:09am
It's San Diego Beer Week and there's no better way to celebrate than strolling through the Little Italy Mercato farmers' market and taking home all the ingredients you need to cook up some delicious bites to pair with our city's impressive brew lineup.
Hefeweizens are a dry, German style of wheat beer, usually made with a specific yeast that gives off flavors like banana and cloves. If you're entertaining, try pairing this beer with a light, citrusy Kale salad from Peace Pies or a fresh goat cheese from Nicolau Farms and slices of sweet Asian pear from Lone Oak Ranch.
Stouts are darker beers varying in flavor range- but invariably have some roasted characters that comes from the use of roasted barley. Try pairing them with rich, smoked foods or bitter chocolate desserts. Pick up a bottle of Gianni's Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar and drizzle it over grilled asparagus from Suncoast Farm or lamb from Da Le Ranch. Or pair with Olive Oil Cafe's indulgent salted chocolate Dark Bear bar, or Caxao Chocolate's dark chocolate truffles: perfect with roasty, sweet stout flavors.
Ale varieties offer a wide range of characteristics, but if you like beer that has big herbal hops and balancing malty sweetness, this brew's for you. Strong Ale goes great with the deep dish pizzas from Berkeley Pizza because the carbonation and strength of the beer cuts through the acidity of tomato sauce and the gooey, delicious mozzarella. Or, grill up some local burgers to enjoy with a cold sip of ale-take home a pound of ground beef from Son Rise Ranch, a bag of spinach or arugula from Suzie's, and a sharp goat cheddar cheese from Spring Hill. Some fresh basil and onions from Schaner's Farm wouldn't be too bad either….