Week 8 in The Year of Drinking Adventurously!
Rye beer is here. Before you get all up in my face about Thomas Jefferson being from Virginia, let me explain. Yards Brewing Company is a local Philadelphia microbrewery with a collection of beers called “Ales of the Revolution” which (supposedly) follow the tradtional recipes created by the Founding Fathers – Thomas Jefferson being one. The brewmaster at Yards worked with along Philadelphia’s famous City Tavern, which dates from pre-Revolutionary times, to come up with the recipe for Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale. It’s a golden ale, crafted with rye as one of its malted grains.
According to Jeff’s book: “… it was fairly common for brewers to supplement barley malt and other grains with rye during colonial times. It was more about what was available to them at the time, than it was about a particular flavor profile they were pursuing.”
If old Tommy’s recipe has been authentically reproduced, then this is a really great ale. And at 8% alcohol, it’s a butt kicker! The brewmaster recommends pairing the tavern ale with a rich, fatty meat like roast duck. I drank mine with “locally sourced” potato chips. I found the pairing to be quite enchanting. The saltiness of the chips was subtly complimented by the liquidity of the ale. That tangy rye flavor added a little zing to the otherwise bland potato. And chips are fatty, right? It’s kind of like roast duck, in that sense.
I am disappointed that Yards doesn’t give John Adams some love. He is my favorite Founding Father. Mostly because of David McCullough’s book “John Adams” and the HBO miniseries it spawned. John Adams and his wife, Abigail, were the nation’s first power couple.
Abby was a force in her own right – my kind of lady! The letters they wrote to each other are eloquent, intelligent and absolutely beautiful. They called each other “my dearest friend” which I find oddly romantic. I cried at the end of the book when Abigail died. Oops – spoilers!
Oh well, perhaps Adams wasn’t the party animal Jefferson, Franklin and Washington were. But since he “paired” so well with Jefferson, perhaps we could at least name a roast duck dish for him.
Don’t forget to stop by and see what Lula drank this week!