Beer and sweets
Ask anyone what to go with a beer? The answers will vary – nuts, cheese, sausages, chicken wings, salted fish, but I’m sure almost no one will say anything about sweets. Nevertheless, you can pick up a sweets snack to go with your beer, but let’s start in order.
Covid is slowly fading into history and the Carlsberg, where I work, began to see rare visitors. This time there was a group of beer lovers organized by Shahar Hertz. They visited my experimental laboratory, discussed with our brew master at the Shikma brewery, toured the brewery and returned to the presentation center. There the famous beer sommelier Ofer Havkin was already waiting for them.
He prepared a tasting of Shikma beer with… sweets. I couldn’t miss such an occasion and joined the group. It is impossible to describe Ofer’s presentation in words. You must hear and see it. An interesting story about beer periodically explodes with his thundering voice in all the right places and also suddenly drops down for a friendly talk with you. From the very first minutes you suddenly find yourself in another reality, in the magical world of Beer. It’s as if you’re being held in captivity, from which you don’t want to be freed…
The tasting started with Marzen Lager, a beer that from the first sip organically merges with you and becomes a part of you. We were given a piece of delicious chocolate with nuts to go with it. And a miracle happened! Soft smooth beer suddenly exploded, new colors and shades appeared. The malty sweetness of the beer suddenly began to whisper with the chocolate, and the nutty notes in the flavor met real nuts and started a dialogue. The beer suddenly started talking, and not just talking, but talking in pairs. It was extraordinary!
The next beer was Amber Ale. Today it is Shikma’s flagship beer. It was accompanied by the popular Alfajores (אלפחורס) dulce de leche (ריבת חלב) cookies, popular in Israel. The beer and cookies immediately literally dissolved into each other. Both delicate, sweet, a nice caramel filling and the peachy aroma of the beer. It’s like they found each other and can just stand there holding hands, understanding each other without words. A fantastic combination!
And then the confusion happened – the snack for the next beer was eaten so quickly that I didn’t have time to take a picture. The Bitter Wheat light beer is yet to be available on the market next week, so I won’t describe it in detail. The problem is that it was served with a delicious strudel. They went so well together that they were drinking and eaten instantly. The beer was asked for extra and there were no more strudels left. That’s why they’re not in the picture…
IPA beer don’t need presentation – it’s the most popular beer between beer fans. Our IPA brewed at Shikma brewery is characterized by a special tenderness and harmony. It does not overwhelm you with bitterness, but gently wraps you in a gentle cloud of flavors and aromas. That’s why, as an appetizer, we were again served alfajores, but with a lemon flavor. Delicate sourness, literally melting in the mouth, the cookie matched the citrus notes of the IPA perfectly.
The last phrase that ends a conversation has been said to be memorable. This combination became the “last sentence” that could describe the entire tasting.