Beer is for lovers. Perhaps a bold statement considering most of us associate beer with sports bars, hot wings and hockey which doesn’t necessarily paint a picture of romance. A man with no hands could count the number of times my wife and I have cuddled on the couch, watching hockey and drinking beer. That being said, I have sat and watched hockey with my buddy’s wife before, but there was absolutely no cuddling.
Outside of the fact that we just don’t associate beer with romance there are a couple of other scientific issues that may throw a little snag in beer as the perfect lubricant for Valentine’s Day. Humulus lupulus, or hops as we commonly call them, contain sedative properties that will help us doze off and get a good night’s sleep but it may also get in the way of us making it past first base.
“But Chris, my special lady friend isn’t a fan of the golden nectar.” To this I say, bah! I’ve said it before and I will say it again; there is a beer for everyone and for this Valentine’s Day let’s find something that she will love and bring her over to Team Beer. Let’s take a look at how you can orchestrate this night perfectly and get you from first beer to après beer with even the most novice and tentative beer fan by your side.
Getting things started
We are going to get into some serious beers to share, so we should probably walk before we run. You could start with some lighter lagers which pair very easily with salads or as a first beer for the night but I’m thinking a light, fruity lager might be a nice way to change things up. They go great on their own but are also the perfect companion when paired with an oil and vinegar dressed salad as a first course. Hands down one of my favourites is the Stiegl Grapefruit Radler but you could also opt for Melville’s Raspberry Craft Lager or Fruli Strawberry Ale.
Start Warming Things Up
Now we are going to branch out a bit and start dipping our toe into some slightly darker ales that are perfect for sharing. Les Trois Mousquetaires Grand Cuvée Weizenbock is a nice place to start. It sounds fancy, which should impress, but what it boils down to is a dark, wheat beer that is more malt forward than hoppy. It’s too much for one person but just the right size for two. Another beer that I would recommend is Black Oak’s Nut Brown Ale. This flagship beer is highly regarded and a great one to get into if your partner is a bit of a beer lover. Contrary to the name there isn’t actually nuts in the beer but when you drink it you will notice that there are hints of almond on the palate.
Stoke the Fires
Now I know that this style may not fall into your own regular rotation of beers that you crush while watching the game but Valentine’s Day is not about crushing beers — it’s about enjoying the experience together and sharing a lovely bottle of beer. You can find a volley of these beers in larger format bottles which makes sharing great. Let’s dip into those deep, rich chocolate stouts and what better place to start than Flying Monkeys The Chocolate Manifesto Triple Chocolate Stout. If you don’t like chocolate this beer simply is not for you but if you do, drop what you are doing and go buy one. It looks like chocolate, smells like chocolate and tastes like chocolate. There is no better holiday to try this stout out. You could also give Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Muskoka Winter Beard Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout or Nickel Brook’s Old Kentucky Bastard (if you like chocolate and bourbon together).
If you stick to my plan you’ll not only get to enjoy some beer together but also discover some hidden gems.
Looking for a reason to hit the pubs this February? Beau’s FeBREWary is the cure for those winter blues.
Need some more recommendations? Fire me off a tweet!