When it comes to choosing a beer to wash down that burrito, whatever's in the fridge usually prevails, which is a shame, since Zima isn't even actually a beer. So to remedy the situation, we asked Jamie Walsh, bar manager and resident beer whisperer at Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale, to figure out which brew goes best with takeout and a stack of Caroline in the City DVDs. Here's the sudsy scoop
Meat Lover's Pizza: The traditional beer/pizza combo gets a little trickier when you add beef, so Jaime rolls with a "classic American lager" to balance the salt overload, but not the Salt overlord, since no one can balance Angelina Jolie.
Politely request: Miller High Life (WI
Chicken Pad Thai: Sweet, sour, and salty, pad thai is one complicated mistress. Uncomplicate her with "a rich amber" that blends sweetness/spice and "supports the dish," without insisting it take piano lessons and row crew.
Grab yourself: Anchor Steam Beer (CA
Falafel: For this Middle Eastern staple, Jamie jumps on a "traditional IPA with light flavors" that "won't distract" from the fried chickpeas, but hopefully will distract from any other chick pees, unless you're into that, which is totally cool. Oh, you are? Well that was a trick. You're gross.
Inform the shopkeep of your intent to have: Thomas Hooker's Hop Meadow IPA (CT
Meatball Sub: Try matching this burly cold-weather belly warmer with "a sweet hard apple cider", and let the sugar counter the tomato sauce's acidity, which is really starting to piss the cheese off.
Get your GF to covertly purchase you: J.K.'s Scrumpy Orchard Gate Gold Organic Hard Cider (MI
Sweet Potato Fries: For these fried taters, Jamie reaches for the hearty complexity of an American stout, but one that "isn't trying to be an Irish import" -- thus eliminating anything that's ever been to the Black Rose.
Ask your buddy in Portland to grab you: Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout (ME
Fish Tacos: Wash down this powerful fish/lime medley with an upstanding red lager that's "not too overpowering", aka the Don Flamenco of beers.
Hold up a convenience store to get the money for: Cape Ann Fisherman's Brew (MA
Beef & Broccoli: For late night "#73 with beef", Jamie keeps it simple by pouring a lighter brew that "won't give him heartburn in the morning", cuz that's just how he rol-aids.
Scope out: Narragansett Lager (RI)