I was in the store the other day, ruminating over a good beer for a cold winter’s night. A couple of years ago someone came out with a pizza flavored beer, which got me to thinking. First of all, a Pizza flavored beer? No. Second, could it be true? Is beer really the perfect food?
I pondered that question a bit later over a glass of Brazil’s notable and ubiquitous, Xingu, an all too often overlooked choice relegated to Carnival, the pre-Easter celebration that kicks off in Rio February 9th(Carnival started this week in Venice, so it is all right to tip back and enjoy a couple Xingus now. Rio won’t mind). It poured to a coffee-tinged quarter inch head that faded quickly with not a great deal of lacing on the glass. Interesting that Xingu held its carbonation, which tickles the tongue a bit.
Years ago, bartending at a popular Lincoln Park eatery that offered 150 beers, Xingu, by far the heaviest on the menu. Xingu was the dare beer. We’ve come a long way in beer since then. Palettes are more seasoned and sophisticated in this current historic renaissance of beer in America.
Which brings me back to food. I mean, you can get a coffee stout, cappuccino for the elites, an oatmeal stout and milk stout, so breakfast is covered, right? The pizza beer notwithstanding, beer is made with sugars, wheat, fruits and contains ample carbs, all in a frosty mug. That’s most of your food groups right there! Guinness, another hearty brew, is made with fish. Great if you’re a vegetarian, but for us meat eaters, a little supplement completes the circle.
Back to Xingu, which is named for a tributary of the Amazon, evoking for me all sorts of exotic imagery. This beer is black, baby. Xingu is as black as they come. I held this one up right to a light bulb, and there wasn’t a glimmer anywhere in that glass. You might think that would mean a really sweet, heavy beer. The last time we sampled a beer this dark was back a month or so ago, with Schmaltz’Jewbelation Sweet 16(16%ABV). But Xingu comes off surprisingly lighter by contrast with an ABV of just under 5%. There is a sugary sweetness here, but this is certainly not of the same character as say a European dark Lager, a Porter or a Stout. Xingu is not a weighty beer by those standards This one I’d serve a bit colder, around 45 degrees Fahrenheit, just to hold onto that carbonation as long as possible.
As for the food thing; a beer lover can dream, can’t he? In that same fantasy I am adopted by Louis Glunz Beer and go to live in their warehouse, living out my days in finely brewed bliss. Oh, I also am about 15 pounds lighter, 20 years younger with a bigger shoe size. Dare to dream…
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Catch the beer of the week review with 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray each Sunday 8-9am only on Our Town, at Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT AM and FM, and streaming online. Friend us on Facebook at Revolution and Beer. And find all of the great beers we review each week at Louis Glunz Beer Inc., http://www.glunzbeers.com