This blogger thought, on a recent trip to the Great New York State Fair, that each beer and drink consumed was worthy of a pairing. Not necessarily pairing beers with the exact right culinary treat, but, rather, all of the various things that a drink might be paired with at the fair.
Note: These were taken over the course of many hours, by a trained professional beer blogger.
Beer 1: The Adirondack Bear Naked Ale, served up courtesy of the Shamrock Pub adjacent to the Midway. A fine, refreshing American amber ale. Lighting below is due to the author hiding in the shade of a vendor tent on a very bright and summery August day.
Pair with: a Reuben Egg Roll — corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese, wrapped in a jumbo sized egg roll wrapper, deep fried and served with Thousand Islands’ dressing for dipping. I would punch my momma in the ear to eat one of these.
Beer 2: Empire East Coast Amber. To be truthful, I thought the first beer was going to be an American Pale Ale, not an amber, but also didn’t mind having a second one of that type. I’ve been on an amber ale kick of late, having enjoyed the Session Amber at Buried Acorn most recently.
Pair with: A visit to the Sand Sculpture, normally backed by a beautiful large slide show of various New York landscapes and parks to visit. Well, for most of the day, anyway…
Beer 3: Lake Placid Ubu Ale, an English Ale (7.0% ABV) named after a dog, one of the many beers I first enjoyed from the Wegmans’ “Craft Your Own Six Pack” aisle.
Pair with: Naturally, a beer named after a dog is best paired with a watching of the New York State Police K-9 units that serve so intelligently and proudly.
Beer 4: Buried Acorn Hot Whip IPA, another one I had enjoyed at the Buried Acorn tap room and knew just what I was getting.
Pair with: Chicken, in a waffle, on a stick, served with a side of maple syrup. The innovator who came up with this deserves every penny he or she makes. What else can we jam conveniently inside of waffles? The possibilities are endless, when you think about it. I’m even thinking of replacing my wallet with a waffle stuffed full of credit cards and cash.
Beer 5: Galaxy Andromeda IPA, because, five beers in, I am seeing stars. Due to the buzz, naturally.
Pair with: Stars, my friends! The New York State Fair brings in quality musical entertainment, and multiple free concerts every day from established new and classic musical acts. This year included Smokey Robinson, Live, Collective Soul, and a bunch of country/pop acts I wouldn’t recognize if you had a gun to my head. How about a free concert from ZZ Freakin Top? There’s your stars, sir/madam.
Beer 6: Not a beer at all, but, rather, a hard cider flavored wine slushie. I generally don’t drink a lot of the slush because of the brain freeze, but this is like a jacked up cup full of applesauce. It’s what fairs are all about. The black and white straw accents it nicely, I find.
Pair with: A big fan, pushing misty cool relief at a guy who’s had several drinks over the course of the day.
Also, while not pictured, this wine slush and the subsequent second one “for the road” pair, sadly, with a wipe out on the author’s bike ride home, causing a bent chain, skinned knee, chin, and a bruised hand and wrist. All in the name of a good time. This is the price we pay, kids.