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.
This is the feeling of the Red Ale that I paired with music and I chose a new album from Leon Bridges called Coming Home.
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.