There’s a line in an Everclear song that goes “We drank that Mexican Beer, we ate that Mexican food”–and I understand the logic of that: a light Mexican lager or pilsner to go with spicy food.
However, that sells Mexican food a little short. Subtract the peppers, and you still have plenty of rich and fairly substantial foods–beans, meats, flatbreads, veggies and a whole bunch of cheeses.
In other words there are a lot of beers that could go with Mexican food much better than some light lager. In this instance, I’m going with–what else?–a nice amber lager, Flying Dog’s Old Scratch.
Flying Dog is a great brewery that I’m very lucky to have so close by, so do expect more reviews of their stuff in the weeks to come. This one is not even their best offering and in many instances would be an unremarkable beer. Sometimes, however, it’s all about the pairings, and in this case Old Scratch works great with burritos.
The medium lager body works well against the starchy, fatty filling of a burrito, and the hoppy, semi-bitter finish fits well against the tangy tastes of cheeses and sour cream.
The carbonation is a little more present than in an ale, so that makes it a lot more crisp and light without missing the body that you need to stand up against the thousand or so calories in your average burrito– the result being that you’ll be satisfied with one or two instead of a six pack of watery lagers with lime added to create a flavor.
So, would I suggest it on its own? No way! Would I suggest it with a sandwich, like a BLT? No, I don’t think so. I also wouldn’t put it up against a really heavy shepherd’s pie, casserole or light salad. But with a burrito, chimichanga, or a few tamales? Old Scratch is just excellent!
Where I got my beer: Ye Olde Spirit Shop
Where you can get your beer: Flying Dog is sold at most major alcohol retailers.