What is a mud bug chug? A crawfish boil.
I’ve got a buddy named Doug. Doug (who is on loan from Louisiana) just threw his 2nd Annual San Diego Mud Bug Chug. The big difference in a classic boil and this party is that Sir Doug is a home brewer of totally scrumptious and original beer. Yes, I realize beer and crawfish together is nothing new. However, I do question how many crawfish boils would not only have this type of beer, but whether there would be enough people at the party to fully appreciate it. As hop heavy beers gain in popularity, it still isn’t the standard for American beer drinkers…unless you live here :-)With San Diego’s growth in the craft beer world, the city has not only made a name for itself that is synonymous with quality, craftsmanship and originality, but it’s also known for it’s distinct style of hop heavy profiles; and in many circles, double IPA’s are referenced as “San Diego style Pale Ale”. This movement has made even casual San Diego beer enthusiasts familiar with quality, bitter, full flavored brews. I say this because (and correct me if I’m wrong), I question how many people have had the opportunity Doug gives us. The experience of a crawfish boil with 3 outstanding home brews (out of a tap), all of which gave their own story to the day. So…thanks Doug.He brewed his flagship IPA coined, Matrimony Ale, which (me thinks), was made the first time as a wedding beer for a mutual friend. Matrimony Ale is classic, balanced, refreshing, and smooth; and whenever it’s around, is my favorite of the day. The other two beers of the day were a spiced ale and a smoked lager. The spiced ale was spiked with Kochu, a distinct Korean chile pepper that gave a perfect amount of heat on the back end; and when I say back end, I mean on the finish, lulz. The other brew was a smoked lager that tasted exactly like it was intended to taste. Nice and smooth with a bite of smoke that begged for a bug.
That begging is what blew me away. The perfect food pairing of the crawfish with the spiced ale or the smoked lager, both on their own or even together. Yes together…if you’ve never combined quality beers before I highly recommend it. If someone scoffs at the idea just let it go. Later on in the party their curiosity will get the better of them, and they will be forced to apologize and give you props. ***Disclaimer–This only works with tapped, high quality beer and a little forethought toward the end product. Meaning…no suicides.Crawfish are boiled in a powerful chile and spice broth that can go with any beer really. But these two beers, whether separate or combined, connected the dots to a perfect food and beverage pairing. To the uninitiated, a food and alcohol pairing is successful when both food and drink are elevated as the flavors intermingle. This unlocks hidden flavors or pulls known flavors to the forefront.It was a gorgeous San Diego day with lots of friendly, happy people gettin’ down and dirty on a table full of authentic cultural cuisine. I relish communal eating experiences and I get fired up even more when I know someone took the time to prepare something artisanal; something that can’t be re-created by myself, or procured anywhere else. It lets your guests know that you care about quality and their happiness.Here’s some pics until next year, woot woot!