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Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer Reviews

This category, a home for pumpkin ales, chocolate stouts and chile beers, is one of the most wide-ranging in terms of flavor. Here, various beer styles are augmented with gifts from the garden—anything and everything from ginger to vanilla to peppers—which should lend distinct characteristics to the base beer’s taste and aroma. In most cases, appearance and mouthfeel shouldn’t stray far from that of the base, but the additions should be obvious in the swallow. Balance is important: herbs, spices and vegetables should complement the base style, not overwhelm it.

Pair: Sample these beers alongside their spice, herb or vegetable additions and notice what aspects the food brought to the beer. Try a chile beer with chile rellenos and search for similarities. Sip a vanilla porter with vanilla cheesecake; note the vanilla flavor in the two contrasting textures. Best yet, pour a coffee stout over espresso gelato for a luscious, cappucinolike dessert.

Glassware: select glassware according to base style


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