Before I left my show at Kulshan Brewing Company in Bellingham last week I was sure to buy a six pack to enjoy at home. I choose the Red Ale. I’m not sure why. I hadn’t tasted it that night but that’s what I grabbed and I’m glad for it. After having one at home a day or so later, I decided that it would be another great beer to pair with music.
To get the most out of the features in the beer, I poured the Kulshan Brewing Red Ale into a pint glass. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to get a sense for the smells in the beer just out of a small hole in the top of a can. So with the Red Ale happily at home in a pint glass, I was able to get hints of nutmeg, cherries and wet earth on the nose. Upon tasting, the wet earth feature remained but the cherry feature turned into more of a cherry pit flavor.
I thought these features were extremely appropriate to the region of the beer, which is one of the things I love when tasting wine or beer. I love to taste the region. Washington is known for its cherries. Famous for them even. And the cities up and down the Puget Sound get a lot of rain, so the wet earth feature fits in perfect with the taste of the Red Ale.
As some of you know, I don’t just base the features of the beer or wine on my music pairing. I also pair the feeling I get from the beverage. The Red Ale gave me the feeling of crisp partly sunny afternoon in early Spring or Fall after a rainstorm. You know when the clouds are still a little heavy but beginning to break apart and let the sun through? That’s what the Red Ale tastes like if that makes sense.
In Coming Home, Bridges has a traditional R&B sound which comes through in the instrumentation of the songs and how they are recorded. The songs seem natural. They’re not forced to be traditional R&B that’s just naturally how they are in a sincere way and that works well with the natural earth quality of the Red Ale.
The feeling of that after-storm-sun in the Red Ale I mentioned before works well with most of the songs off of Coming Home, especially “Smooth Sailin’”.
Like always, don’t take my word for it. Pick yourself a six pack of Red Ale from Kulshan Brewing and try it for yourself. Or try some other pairings too. It’s a lot of fun trying to increase the experience of an album or song with the right wine or beer.