Pairing Guide: Hannukah: Beer with the Rabbi

image from "Beer & Latkes Hanukkah Celebration, 92YTribeca 12/22/11" & sourced from Creative Commons It’s a bit harsh that Thanksgiving gets one day, while Christmas seems to get the whole month! While we celebrate the birth of baby Jesus with a new iPod, sweater, or television it's important to remember the food. In our ongoing series of craft beer and food, we step away from the tree and focus on another source of light, the menorah.

Hanukkah starts at Saturday December 8th. For those of you without a history book or a rabbi, that means 8 days of celebrating when the lights almost went out. During this time fellow Jews (and a few gentiles) get together partaking of latkas or livot (potato pancakes), gefilte fish, beef brisket, soofganiot (doughnuts), and various fried foods. However, it's not all about the oil, as some people have also taken to salads with oil and vinegar or dairy.

Latkas or Livot (more commonly known as potato pancakes) consist of potatoes, onions, egg, salt, pepper, white, flour, and baking powder. After one fries these little potato beer coasters up, you had better garnish them with sour cream or apple sauce. The beer that works best would be an India Pale Ale or Stout, as these balance out the meal. Some local examples are Pike IPA or XXXXX Stout, Two Beers Jive Espresso Stout, Hale's Mongoose IPA, Big Time Bhagwan's IPA, Elysian Prometheus, Schooner Exact Regrade Pale Ale, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Drifter Pale Ale

Easy to make recipe for Latkes

  • 2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil for frying
  1. Place the potatoes in a cheesecloth and wring, extracting as much moisture as possible.
  2. In a medium bowl stir the potatoes, onion, eggs, flour and salt together.
  3. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels. Serve hot!

Beef Brisket from the "Backyard Brewers: The 2010 Series" Flickr set & Creative CommonsBeef Brisket. Anyone that’s gone to the grocery counter or the deli would recognize this meat. This one comes in all different types, but if you have some kosher salt handy and some pale ale or brown, you can take a stab at a marinade. Suggested marinades are Pike Pale Ale, Maritime Pale Ale, Fremont Pale Ale, Big Time Prime Time Pale Ale, Big Al Papa Charlie's Pale Ale, Hale's Dubbel or Pike Tandem Dubbel. Once it’s been cooked, wash it down with some of the India Pale Ales or Stouts.

For something interesting you should try Homebrew Chef’s recipe for Smoked Beef Brisket with Chocolate Ancho Rub (or without Chocolate Ancho Rub).

That's right, Sufganiot, from StateofIsrael's Flickr page and Creative CommonsDonuts (soofganiot to the more familiar). Who wouldn't want a donut early in the morning, drizzled in glaze, sprinkles, or nuts? Comprised of pretty much the same stuff in beer, these little starch grenades would wash down well with some tripel, or if you prefer a morning classic, coffee beer. Maybe a Pike Monk's Uncle , Pike XXXXX Stout , Naked City Big LeBrewski White Russian Stout , Elysian Dragonstooth , Two Beer Jive Espresso Stout , Bison Organic Chocolate Stout, or try a Obsidian Stout.

For those of you that are feeling a bit lazy, swing into the nearly-kosher (meaning, blessed by a rabbi) but very vegan Mighty-O donuts (2110 North 55th St) in Tangletown.


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