Summer might be coming to an end whether we like it, or it feels like it, or not. And while some of you might be thinking of packing the grill up to store for winter, I ask you to stop and reconsider. Not only is the grill one of the most diverse cooking tops in the household, it should never be slid to the side of the house like the wicker patio furniture your mother-in-law gave you. Let’s show it a bit more respect than that.
Now, we could be focusing on fall combinations in food, pairing red wines with steaks, but we aren’t there yet. Even with the days cooling off, there is no reason to put away those lighter beers just yet. Blonde lagers, typically released during the warmer months, do very well during the year round meal combinations, combining well with everything from spicy chilly to grilled burgers, and down to the fresh fall salads and slow roasts. It is a dynamically diverse beer.
One that came out this year that will be sitting in my beer fridge year round is the new Guinness Blonde American Lager. Now, yes, I know it is not the traditional Guinness stout, but I do ask you give it a shot. This is not the watered down American lager that we see from other brands, but something that embodies a smooth, fruity malt aroma and is very light on the hops flavor, which does very well for pairings. Taste wise, the beer comes across somewhat fruity, and while its feel in the mouth isn’t lingering like other, more robust beers, it is a nice finish with sweet malt, a bit of pepper, and minimal bitter aftertaste.
So that begs to question what exactly this lager can pair well with, and honestly, the sky is the limit. But in my case, I think simplicity is best, bringing some bold flavors to the side of the beer for each to work well with and support throughout the meal. So let’s break out that trusty grill and make an incredible dinner.
First comes the main course. To balance out the light, crispness of the lager, I went with a filet steak seasoned in a healthy portion of pepper, salt, garlic powder, and a little rosemary. On top is the centerpiece, a mixture of butter and truffle oil bringing out the earthiness of the filet. Searing this slab of meat over medium high heat until medium rare, I let the steak cool off with the dollop of truffle butter on top. This lets the butter get all melted and filling in the openings in the steak.
For the side comes a different bold flavor in the form of a perfect salad of grilled avocado, heirloom tomatoes, goat cheese, and honey balsamic vinegar drizzle. Simply assembled in the time the steak is resting, the earthiness of the goat cheese paired with the sweetness of the honey and the boldness of the balsamic vinegar help to really highlight the lager pairing, again contrasting the light crispness without overpowering or causing a strange aftertaste.
So there we go. Summer might be slowly coming to an end, but that does not mean it is time to give up on the fresh meals and delicious pairings that keep us and our stomachs happy. With meals like this and beers like the Guinness Blonde American Lager, it really couldn’t be easier. So keep that grill out, pick up a 6 pack, and enjoy a delicious meal no matter the occasion.
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup of white truffle oil
Directions: Combine two ingredients into a canning jar and store in the fridge to harden.
Honey Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup of amber grade honey
Directions: Combine in a container, whisking to ensure the honey mixes evenly, and store in cool, dark place. Drizzle on everything.