Craft beer from a 22-ounce bottle doesn't usually come to mind when picturing a tasting menu of the best in Spanish haute cuisine, but it might after next week, when Oregon's Deschutes Brewery releases Zarabanda, a new saison brewed in collaboration with the tapas king himself, José Andrés.
Three years of planning, collaborating and experimenting led to the creation of the new release, named for a Spanish dance. Deschutes founder Gary Fish has been a longtime friend of the man behind L.A. restaurants Tres and The Bazaar, and the two finally are commemorating their friendship with an inventive beer.
“Here we are, after almost 20 years, and Deschutes Brewery has helped to bring my spirit into this beer and allowed me to become part of their family,” Andrés says.
Andrés’ flare for Spanish flavor transforms a light and crisp farmhouse saison into a delicious example of the elegant future of craft beer. Brewed with pink peppercorns, lemon verbena, dried lime and sumac — a souring spice common in Middle Eastern cuisine — this is a beer that would be as at home at a beer bar as it would in a trendy L.A. restaurant, where it could easily make a seamless replacement for a dry, white wine.
Read more: And Now, A Brief Message From Jose Andres
Zarabanda is a rare chef-driven collaboration for the craft beer industry, where brewers more often make beers with other brewers. By enlisting a chef, however, breweries such as Deschutes — along with Goose Island, Evil Twin and Rogue Ales before them — benefit from additional kitchen experience, which by its very nature breeds a heightened understanding of how to balance adjuncts. These adjuncts, or additional beer-flavoring ingredients, create chef-inspired complexity, making for a food-forward beverage.
Collaborating with another brewer, for example, may have resulted in the use of simple lemon zest to create the citrus component in Zarabanda, Andrés' use of ingredients such as sumac, lemon verbena and dried limes, however, instead compiles three different citrus components, which add depth and extreme pairing abilities to the once working-class beverage.
Deschutes suggests pairing Zarabanda with heartier dishes, such as smoked-onion pork sausage with pickled red cabbage or fish and chips. The beer will be available on draft and in 22-ounce bottles at places where Deschutes is usually sold.
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