Coronado Brewing and I have been on a journey together. When I first tasted their brews back in 2008, I admittedly wasn’t their biggest fan. I couldn’t attach myself to their year-round lineup, and I didn’t see enough specialty brews out there to make an informed, defined opinion. So I held back. And even as recent as last year, when they came into Lumberyard Tavern for tap space, I resisted. That’s when I re-tasted Idiot IPA, and my senses perked up. I agreed to put on the Idiot to see what happened, and the response was incredible. Going through kegs like gangbusters, I realized it was time for me to reevaluate Coronado Brewing.
Most recently I visited their shiny new facility and tap room to select beers and discuss food pairings for a mini-tap event at the Lumberyard. After a tour and my getting giddy over casks of Idiot with Simcoe, we settled on the brews and their delicious culinary counterparts:
Monk-in-tha-Trunk Belgian Blonde, 4.8% ABV: Smooth and highly drinkable, this Blonde is a spring-summer sunshine day beer, asking for a grill out with friends, an outdoor soccer game, or a shady porch. Light bodied with notes of melon, citrus, hay, & yeast. I paired this with a spring mix salad with shaved cantaloupe, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and a rice vinaigrette. Fresh & refreshing!
Idiot IPA dry-hopped with Simcoe, on cask, 8.5% ABV: Trademark tangerine and caramel take a back seat to Simcoe on this fantastic mutant of Idiot. Bright citrus and mmm piney goodness greet your nose and palate. Well developed and far too easy to enjoy at that ABV. Ultimately, it doesn’t read like Idiot with the addition of Simcoe, but it is delicious all the same. I paired this beer with a BBQ Glazed Salmon, using our amazing sweet-n-spicy BBQ sauce at the restaurant.
Hoppy Daze Belgian IPA, 7.5% ABV: Nicely balanced and highly hopped IPA, with that wonderful Belgian twist I love. Hops include Centennial, Columbus, Simcoe, and CTZ. Big, feisty bursts of citrus (lemon & grapefruit), tropical fruit, pine, & freshly cut herbs. Belgian yeast gives a roundness to the beer without compromising the vibrancy. This might be my favorite pairing of the lot: Buttermilk Herb Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes & sauteed green beans. Oh yes.
Bada Bing Cherry Porter, 5.6% ABV: Loved this beer. And yes, it’s the name of the strip club in The Sopranos. Delicious notes of milk and dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and just a hint of cherry. (Believe me, I’ve had cherry porters that border on that nauseating cough syrup intensity, and this one was safe.) Great job, Coronado. I paired this yummy brew with our bakers’ Lemoncats Double Chocolate Brownies with black cherry ice cream & chocolate sauce. Decadence deserved, yes?
Stay tuned for my next mini-tap takeover & food pairing event and review!