After my show at St. Brigid’s Brewery in Moses Lake, WA, the beer maker and owner, Tom, was kind enough to send me home with some of his beer. Of course, I took the opportunity to do another beer and music pairing but this one turned out much different than I expected. In a good way though.

Sometimes tasting a good beer or wine can take you down memory lane if it has familiar scents or tastes to a particular event in your past. This is what happened to me when I smelled the 40 Acre IPA from St. Brigid’s Brewery. For this reason the pairing I’ve chosen may not work for you. It’s kind of personal, I guess. I did try to base some of the pairing notes off of actual features in the beer but once the smell took me to another time and place in my past, it was hard to think of anything else.

What did I smell on the 40 Acre IPA that had such an effect on me? Lilacs. I grew up in western New York and lilac trees are pretty common. There were a couple on the property at home but more importantly, there’s a Lilac Festival every Spring in Rochester, NY. The smell from the IPA reminded me of all the Lilac Festivals I went to when I lived back in that area. There’s always music during the Lilac Festivals too. Often the festival features Blues Rock bands with great guitars and horn sections. Since the taste of many IPAs are punchy, the punchiness of Blues Rock horn sections immediately came to mind.

And just like that, there was no escaping it. I had to pair the 40 Acre IPA with a killer Blues Rock band with punchy horn lines. It took me a little bit combing through my music library trying to find a good pair but then I remembered a kick ass band that has been doing really well on the festival circuit, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds. I listened to“Borderline” off of their last album, The Weather Below, and it was decided.

Right off the bat, the horn section had the punchiness I was looking to pair with this beer. The power of lead singer, Arleigh Kincheloe, can be bitter and sweet, just like the 40 Acre IPA. Song after song and sip after sip, this pairing just worked for me. Plus, the ridiculously talented harmonica solos are super enjoyable and added a little something extra special to round out the pairing.

Like I said, this pairing may not be right for your since this beer triggered memories for me but you should still give it a shot. Let me know if it works for you and if it doesn’t, let me know what does!

Now I’m going to go back to blasting some Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds…

P.S. I’m back at St. Brigid’s Brewery in Moses Lake on Saturday, May 21st. The show starts at 7 PM. Come on out and we’ll have a beer together.

Tasting notes:
Nose: Hops, Peach, Lilac, Ginger
Taste: Other than hops, I get a little peach, ginger and minerals.