What we have here is the Stratofortress by Wingman Brewers and a brownie.
In many ways, this should tell you all you need to know about this beer: drink it with a brownie. The earthy elements of the cedar and rum give this beer enough bitterness that a brownie is really the best compliment. If you can convince a loved one to make that brownie with dark chocolate chips so you get the sweet with the bitter, then all the better.
Because that’s what I was lucky enough to do and let me tell you: it’s pretty high on the awesome.
Also, if you can convince a friend to go to (or come from) Tacoma with a growler of the Stratofortress? Do that too. (See the previous paragraph for why.)
It’s pretty much a tiny slice of heaven and you probably won’t even realize this ale is 11%. Which it is, so drink carefully, my friends. But drink it. I eagerly await my next trip to Tacoma to try more of Wingman’s stock, because this beer is a damn fine one and poured from a keg? I can hardly wait.
Added bonus: interview with a co-owner of Wingman.
I went to the establishment on 15th and Flanders on my birthday, where I had the Freedom Hop ale, touted by the bartender as the only beer in the world that is being made with a single hop throughout the process.
But OK, he probably meant commercial beers and there’s really no sense in being dickish about it: I’m getting a free beer. A beer I liked, too! It was a really solid pale ale, easy to drink and I would’ve had more of it if there had been time. The hops weren’t too bitter on the finish and the nose was a softer citrus, like a flower. All in all, a very agreeable beer to drink.
Now, since this was a liter of beer to myself, I ordered tater tots. I had a difficult time making this choice, as though some part of me was reluctant to get anything at all, a voice suggesting that I should’ve eaten before I arrived. This feeling would be unremarkable except for the fact that the tots were, hands down, the worst I’ve ever tasted: burnt, dirty flavors all over them. I just couldn’t finish the serving.
That’s when I remembered: I didn’t like the chicken strips I got last year, either. I don’t know what you’re doing in the kitchen but if you’re fucking up tater tots, it needs to be fixed. Just sayin’.
I then wandered over to the Green Dragon where I had a lovely alt from The Commons, (continuing to cement their place as a kick ass brewery) but decided to avoid any other form of nourishment. Just in case.
This made the rounds a little bit ago but it’s never too late to bring it up: there is such a thing as beer jello shots. I don’t think that this is a good thing but it exists and I feel that maybe someone might find that…less than hideous.
Another article, that Fuz sent me, was on beer and cheese pairings, which I found to be really informative and totally cool. Plus, cheese is awesome. I will broach no dissension on this topic.
I’ve found my way to this post on pairing beer with food at The Kitchen. It’s pretty good advice for people who like beer and may not be sure how to pair it with food. They lay out guidelines as such, not as rules, which I find to be a wise choice when dealing with any food.
If I had one sticking point, I suppose it would be their statement “And Belgian beers can handle just about anything!”
I have two issues with this statement: first, I don’t think you can really say ‘Belgian beers’ and have it mean something like German or British beers, where those nations have some iconic styles that are associated with the country, lager and porters in this case. Given the number of breweries in Belgium, what can the statement possibly mean?
Second, because of the sheer range of styles from Belgium, beers can range from banana sweet, clove flavors to raspberry tart and chocolate to sour. Even amongst the flavors I mentioned, Belgian beers can run to an extreme; cloyingly sweet to stomach-churning sour, depending.
Are these the kind of flavors that can handle just about anything?
That said, I can get behind this article on dessert beers a hell of a lot faster.