As we venture out from the world of artisan cheese plates and wine varietals, we enter a realm of endless possibilities. That’s right; we’re talking the craft beer realm. We teamed up with Green Flash Brewing Company, located in San Diego, CA, to pair the best brew and salamini combos.
Let’s start with the basics. What are the major factors that give beer and salami their authenticity?
Craft Beer – Beer is measured by ABV percentage and bitterness. Factors such as hops and wheat can add to or take away from the bitterness of the beer.
Salami – Meanwhile, salami carries a savory tang with added hints of spice, zest, and smoked flavors. Different peppers, spices and curating tactics determine which direction the taste will go.
Special ingredients and processes determine the production of beer and salami. The exclusive nature of the ingredients and methodology cannot be found in any other product creation.
Craft Beer – Beer is created through the careful combination and fermentation of barley, hops, yeast, and water. From there, throwing in other tasty elements is what gives the craft its authentic flavor. These can include anything from full-bodied components of cream, coffee and caramel, to crisp components of citrus, floral and pine.
Salamini – What separates Olli’s salamini products from others is the high-quality, vegetarian-raised pork raised humanely on family-owned farms. The recipes have been handed down for 160 years, and the curating process includes hand-seasoning the pork with a special blend of spices and then allowing it to cool in carefully-monitored temperatures and state of the art curating rooms.
Making the Match
When pairing craft beer with a snack like salamini, there are a few things to keep in mind. As the Director of Beer Education at Green Flash Brewery, Dave Adams, instructed: the main principle here is to match the intensities of both. Matching the potency of the beer with the different levels of spice and tang of the cured salamini will allow the flavors of each to reach their full potential.
Now, work your way up. Start with the salamini and beer with the least intense flavors and advance towards the more intense flavors. This way, if a peppery salami and pungent beer are hanging out for awhile on your tastebuds, they won’t overpower the amazing mildness of the next pair.
Be mindful: Matching intensities does not necessarily mean matching flavors. If you’re drinking a chocolate-y milk stout, would you pair this with a piece of rich, chocolate cake? The chocolate would be overwhelming. The goal is to achieve an even blend of intensities so that one flavor is not dominating everything else.
After comparing notes and careful consideration, here are the indisputable pairs we came up with and the ingredients of each.
Salamini – Napoli
Beer – Le Freak Imperial IPA
Napoli Salamini is smoked over applewood giving it a complex, hearty flavor. A Belgian style, complex IPA made with orange marmalade, banana and bubblegum. The malt counteracts the salamini, subduing but extending the linger of the spices.
Salamini – Norcino
Beer – Jibe Session IPA
Our Norcino salamini is simply seasoned with just salt and white pepper, allowing the flavor of our premium pork to shine through. Jibe is mild and woodsy IPA, blended with flavors of oroblanco, pine, and eucalyptus. The crisp taste of the IPA blends perfectly with mildness of the Norcino salamini.
Salamini – Calabrese
Beer – 30th Street Pale Ale
The spicy Calabrese Salamini gets its kick from cayenne pepper & paprika. 30th Street is a Pale Ale incorporating lots of dry hop, melon and white grape. The floral bitterness works well with the spicy kick of the Calabrese, matching the boldness of each flavor palate.
Salamini – Pepperoni
Beer – Soul Style IPA
This tangy and flavorful salamini mirrors the traditional pork product used in many popular, American meals. Extra hops added last provide a burst of delicate aroma to the pine, citrus, and corn zest of the IPA. The sharpness of the Pepperoni becomes controlled by the extra hoppiness in the IPA to elongate the flavorful experience.