A Food Friendly Beer
Pangaea: Not your everyday pale ale. In fact, I think this beer creates its own style category. When someone asks me about it, I have a difficult time describing it in few words. Light in color in body, ginger on the palate, slightly spicy and a crisp, clean finish. The best part about it is that it’s one of those rare beers that pairs perfectly with food.
The story goes, Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head was watching a dinosaur movie with his son in which they were talking about the land mass before it separated into continents, called Pangaea. Sam was inspired to create a beer that would symbolically “put the world back together.” In doing so, the ingredients are brought together from every continent in the world. Crystallized ginger from Australia, basmati rice from Asia, muscavado sugar from Africa, quinoa from South America, yeast from Europe, maize from North America, and my favorite, water from Antarctica make up this diverse, worldly recipe. They actually contacted the US Military base stationed in Antarctica in order to buy iceberg water. Pretty creative thinking with this one.
Pangaea is the perfect accompaniment to a wide range of foods. I had it the other night with sushi, a very difficult food genre to find a compatible beer. The ginger acted as a wonderful palate cleanser and the light, low hop content left a clean finish. The pickled ginger that comes as a heap on the side of your plate is meant to cut the saltiness of the soy sauce and hotness of the wasabi. Pangaea takes its place just fine, and what makes it even better is that it’s beer! It would also pair wonderfully with holiday meals where turkey, prime rib and ham are the main course. It is not so heavy that it would overpower your food, yet not so light that you don’t notice it. If you are a beer drinker, this is the equivalent of a wine drinker’s “food friendly wine”. And with 7% alcohol, you won’t fall over if you finish the whole bottle yourself.
Pangaea is a Limited Release only found in the Fall. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. As Sam Calagione says, “Good luck trying to find Pangaea”
Dogfish Head Pangaea Limited Release 750ml: $10.50
As luck would have it, Pangaea can be found at Decanted Wines at 1410 Pine Ridge Rd, Naples FL 34108