17 October 2011

Skyline and Schlafly

Let’s be honest: Jason isn't the fanciest of fellows. He certainly enjoys his beer dinners that feature the greatest of fine cuisine, but why limit beer pairings to fancy food? Why not consider pairing a can of craft beer with a can of processed meat product?

I recently had a craving for chili dogs. I picked up a pack of buns, some Eckrich franks, some shredded cheddar cheese, and a can of Skyline chili. For those of you who don’t know, Skyline chili (also known as Cincinnati chili) is one of the most fantastic chili concoctions on the face of the planet. It’s not your standard chili from Texas. Or even from most places in Indiana.

It is a sweet chili sauce with a Greek heritage. In Cincinnati, it is often served over spaghetti and topped with freshly shredded cheese. This is known as a 3-way. Add beans or onions and it is a 4-way. Add both and it is a five way. Add two women, and you are having a 5-way after a 3-way. Yes, I went there.

If you have not had a Skyline 3-way and a Skyliner (chili cheese dog), you are missing out. There are several Skyline chili parlors around Indy. If you have and you don’t like it, your taste buds are obviously unrefined. Skyline chili is the American answer to Canada’s poutine. That’s right, I said it. Ted Miller would agree with me.

So I have my ingredients and I’ve assembled my chili dogs. Now I want to wash it down with something. What beer goes with Skyline chili? Well, Skyline chili has cinnamon. And I just happened to have a bottle of 2010 Schlafly Pumpkin Ale.

I selected the pumpkin ale because it tastes like pumpkin pie, complete with cinnamon and nutmeg. I figured that the spices in the beer might compliment the spices in the chili. And I wasn’t wrong. What was challenging was the eight percent alcohol. I found that it conflicted with the sweetness of the chili and the fattiness in the hot dog. I think a pumpkin ale with less alcohol would have worked well. I’ll try it again and let you know if I'm right.

I didn't have a Schlafly pint glass, so I put it in a different St. Louis pint glass.

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