Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City
I love craft beer for many reasons. One of the biggest is that the brewers behind the suds have the freedom get very creative. Could you ever imagine a new Budweiser beer brewed with lavender or cardamom or szechuan peppercorns?
All three of those ingredients sound like unlikely choices for a beer flavor, but creative craft brewers integrate them seamlessly and the result is often a unique, new flavor that makes beer drinking fresh and exciting.
It’s the addition of those Szechuan peppercorns that I want to focus on in this post. Singlecut Beersmiths, Astoria’s, first modern craft brewery quietly launched last year with an ambitious production line in a far-flung location.
Their Jan Olympic White Lagrrr! was the first one I tried and the one I will always associate with this brewery. I first sipped it at Barcade in Brooklyn, but most recently re-lived the unusual beer experience at the brewery itself. A full brewery review can be found here, but you should hunt down this most delicious beer anywhere you can find it.
Szechuan peppercorns are the bright, spicy building blocks of Szechuan food. I’ve often tasted this cuisine and shortly thereafter experienced a thrilling numbing sensation on my tongue. So a beer with these unsuspecting peppercorns was intriguing.
The numbing sensation was muted, but the lingering floral, citrusy notes were just as bracing as a plate of dan dan noodles. The spiciness came more from coriander and ginger, while the peppercorns enhanced those notes. This is also a white lager (not the more common wheat ale) which allowed for a crisp, easy drinking base that was brought to life by the magical ingredient.
I can’t wait to see what the crazy, but brilliant craft brewers of the city put together next. Indian curry beer, anyone?
|19-33 37th Street (between 20th and 19th Avenue),