Welcome to our inaugural blog post! This is a new weekly project we’re launching, and we are pumped because we have some great topics lined up. Here’s how it’s going to work: the topics will change, but overall there will be four topics that repeat once a month, and here they are:
- Jerky with Drinks!: We pair one of our jerky flavors with a delicious libation (think beer, whiskey, etc).
- Cooking with Jerky!: We make a recipe that includes our jerky as an ingredient, and walk you through it so that you can do it at home.
- Behind the Grind: We open up about some aspect of our business, and give some advice on how to handle certain scenarios. We had some missteps along the way - we all do at some point - but we’re including this topic so that those of you in business, or thinking about starting a business, don’t have to make the same mistakes we did.
- Random: This post’s topic will vary each month, but you can expect discussions ranging from foods that inspire us, new developments here at VC Dry Goods, and other behind the scenes stuff.
With that said, let’s get to the meat of the post (pun intended).
JERKY WITH DRINKS!
We pair great drinks with great jerky, because drinking alone is never fun. Disclaimer: We aren’t super sophisticated beer sommeliers (yes, we know sommeliers do wine, just go with it), we’re just average joes with a lot of experience drinking beer, some experience homebrewing, and a little experience rubbing elbows with actual brewmasters. Remember, our day job is making delicious snacks (snackmasters, maybe??). We’re going to talk about beer and snack pairings, but we aren’t getting into the nitty gritty details. With that said, please read on.
This week, we’re featuring a beer from Sierra Nevada called Hazy Little Thing (HLT for short), and it’s a New England-style IPA. Sierra Nevada is a big brewery, and that’s partly why we chose this beer. For our first post, we wanted to make sure that you could find this beer pretty much nationwide. In the future, expect some interesting, regional brews as well.
The Brew: This beer has a great look. It’s a light gold color and pretty cloudy. Just based on the look, you can tell it’s not your run-of-the-mill IPA. With any craft beer, you should take a second to admire the aroma too - otherwise you’re missing out. With this brew, you’re rewarded with nice citrus notes, some orange and some pineapple. Once you finally have a taste, the citrus keeps coming - in a good way. You get more of the pineapple and some mango, and a light, almost sweet maltiness. It’s definitely hoppy, but not overly bitter like a lot of IPAs can be. Overall, a good beer, very drinkable. Bring on the jerky!
The Beef: We decided to pair HLT with Type-X. The fresh garlic, fresh ginger, and spicy cayenne work really well with a hoppy beer. Now remember, this is craft jerky, so there’s no reason to treat it any different than a craft beer. When you first open that bag, you need to take a second to admire the aroma. If you do, you get rewarded just like with the beer, except this time with a burst of delicious garlic and ginger. You also get a smokiness from the smoked sea salt that we use in the marinade. It beckons you to grab a piece. When you finally do, and take a bite, you get an explosion of flavor. The garlic and ginger complement each other nicely, and the heat from the cayenne sneaks up on the back end and slowly grows in intensity.
The Pairing: After a bite of the Type-X, when you take a sip of the HLT you realize right away that the two go well together. The HLT brings out more of the black pepper in the Type-X, definitely a good thing. The citrus flavors in the HLT also help emphasize the ginger. On the flip side, the Type-X brings out even more of the citrus flavors of the HLT, especially the pineapple. The cayenne is also nicely balanced with the mild hoppiness in the beer. Overall, a great combination of flavors. We highly recommend this pair to anyone who’s a fan of delicious food with a kick and a nice IPA.
If you want to try the pairing for yourself, click HERE for the Type-X page.
(For the record, several beers were harmed in the making of this post, but don’t worry - they were delicious!)