So, recently I had the odd but certainly entertaining experience of taping a segment for "The View" about beer and food pairing—I can't say that I ever expected I would stand in front of an audience talking to Barbara Walters and Joy Behar about the nuances of ales versus lagers, but what the hey. Soon several million people (!) will hear me wax poetic about why IPAs go well with deep-fried mozarella sticks—another blow for the great cause of good beer. The segment's supposed to run August 13, but in the meantime I've come across my new favorite beer. The only hitch is that it is only available (as far as I know) in NYC and a few places in Massachusetts, and only in restaurants at that: Six Points Craft Ales's Bengali Tiger. It's much less biting than many west coast IPAs (odd for a beer named for a tiger), with more citrusy than resinous hops notes and a smooth, creamy malt character. Just tastes supremely good on a hot afternoon, especially hand-pulled from a cask, as was the case at DBA, where I had it.
In any case, if you can't track down Bengali Tiger, the breweries I wrote about in my June '07 story about a beer trip through Sonoma County I took with chef Sang Yoon all produce top-notch IPAs as well, one of which I got to feature on the segment on "The View"—the Lagunitas Brewing Company Maximus. It's an Imperial IPA that features a mighty powerful blast of pure hoppitudinousness. Which is a technical beer term, that I, um, learned from some guy I met, um, somewhere. Possibly in a bar.