Meet the contenders: First up, we tasted "Saison du Hudson" from Two Ton Brewing out of Linden, NJ (in collaboration with Cypress Brewing), and as Jim the brewer explained, this saison-style beer was brewed without the typical ginger spice, and instead with lemongrass and a whopping EIGHT POUNDS of tangerine zest!
Moshe paired the "Saison du Hudson" with a hearty tomato soup with smoked onion and chorizo, served in a bread bowl with melted American cheese - a perfect winter comfort dish!
Next up, we sampled the "Blood Orange Pale Ale" from Great South Bay out of Bay Shore, NY, an American-style pale ale with just the right balance of hops and citrusy blood orange flavor.
This brew was paired with our customary "second-course wings", this time tossed in a garlic and Spanish pepper sauce.
Moving to the west coast, we tried Anderson Valley's "Boont Amber Ale" out of Boonville, CA, a deliciously malty yet crisp amber ale which paired fantastically with a roasted pork tenderloin (no knife needed) in gingersnap gravy with garlic mashed potatoes.
At this point, it is safe to say no Beer Senator left hungry!
Last but not least, for dessert, we had the "ACME California Pale Ale" from North Coast Brewing out of Fort Bragg, CA, which was a nice light-bodied, highly-carbonated pale ale.
Finally, it was time to tally up our scores for each brew and cast our votes! (Side note: this is the equivalent of herding cats after everyone has been drinking for two hours).
In the end, it was the "Saison du Hudson" from Two Ton that won the Senate, followed by Great South Bay's blood orange pale ale in a close second!
It turns out that next month's Senate happens to fall on Fat Tuesday, and that was the theme voted for almost unanimously (albeit a few Valentine's Day/chocolate beer votes).
You can rest assured that whatever Mardi Gras-themed pairings Moshe comes up with, they will not be boring or predictable.
See you February 9th early, the Beer Senate starts at 7pm!
To learn more about Hailey's Beer Senate, check out our home page and here