8 Days of Pairings: A Deep Fried Hannukah Guide

From Sufganyot to Latkes, Hannukah is filled with delightfully festive fried foods that pair perfectly with all kinds of different craft beer styles! Here are our favorite fried foods that go hand in hand with our favorite brews. Happy Hannukah and b'tei'avon!

Day 1: Sufganyot (Jelly Doughnuts) - paired with - IPA

In my house, sufgans (as we affectionately refer to them) don't last very long. But when I can get my hands on one before they disappear, I love to pair it with a juicy IPA. The bitter notes in a hop-filled IPA with help to balance the sweetness of a good sufgan. Natural fruit flavanoids found in hop oils will also serve to complement and accentuate fruit fillings. Going exotic and fancy on your suf will serve you even better in this scenario i.e. Roladin flavors and/or artisans sufganyot. And if you're a local here in Isarel, a fire pairing if you can find it (probably only in your fancier sufgan shops) would be a Lodestone Tropical IPA and a mango sufganya. Thank me later

Day 2: Levivot (Latkes) - paired with - Amber Ale

I don’t know about you, but I like my latkes crispy around the edges, with a nice golden, brown color. This color comes from something called the Maillard reaction which happens when we apply heat to foods with readily available amino acids and sugars. This same reaction occurs in the malted barley we use give the distinct amber color to an amber ale. Therefore, when you pair your amber with your latkes you are racking up a kind of deconstructed complimentary pairing. And a very extra latke trip for my treif eaters out there, add bacon and cheddar to your latke mix. Again, thank me later.

Day 3: Fried Ice Cream - paired with - Hard Apple Cider

Fried ice cream is made by flash frying a battered or breaded, frozen ball of ice cream. It ain't hard to make. It will blow your damn mind. People will think you are a culinary savant if you make it for them. This pairing works best using vanilla or cinnamon ice cream and a DRY cider. The world of hard apple cider (much like wine) is split into dry and sweet ciders. A drier cider is created by simply allowing fermentation to continue for longer, converting more of the fermentable sugars to alcohol. You want a dry cider for this because the ice cream already offers a large hit of sweetness.

Day 4: Sufgans (but the non-jelly ones) - paired with - Stout

The sufgan world is split into two- fruit fillings and non-fruit fillings. Your non-fruit fillings will be somewhere along the lines of chocolate, dulce de leche, or pistachio cream. Malted grains that have been roasted and then used to achieve the dark color and flavor profile of stout beers are bursting with chocolate and coffee notes. Pairing a chocolate or coffee profile stout is a beautiful way to flip the coffee and doughnuts trope on its head and enjoy a boozy after dinner beer and dessert oozing with comfort and class.

Day 5: Sfenj - paired with - Blonde Ale

I love a fresh sfenj (Morrocan style doughnut) from the shuk. The beauty of sfenj is that the dough is unsweetened, but then fried and dusted with sugar. This allows for simple and straightforward layers of flavor. A harmonious match for this is the Lodestone Peach Tree Blonde. With such a straightforward flavor profile, sfenj will take on and be complimented by any strong, prominent flavor in its pairing. In this case the blonde base of our PTB compliments the sfenj. And then, the fresh peach notes elevate the pairing and turn it into a different experience entirely.

Day 6: Fried Pickles - paired with - Pilsner

To my experience, fried pickles come from the southern USA. Correct me if you dare. I love pairing sour foods with an easy drinking beer. Deep frying a pickle turns it into a savory, sour snack that almost demands a crushable pilsner by its side. Think sitting at a bar nursing a beer while munching on olives, but way freakin' better!

Day 7: Fish & Chips - paired with - British-Style Bitter

I mean, need I say anymore? This is a match made in heaven and there is more nostalgia connected to this pairing to me than food science. A British Bitter is a relatively dark variant of pale ale and it goes oh-so-well next to a basket of fish and chips.

Photo by: Jamie, @Everything_Delish

Day 8: Falafel - paired with - Saison

This lesser-know Belgian style has a distinct dry, peppery finish that seems to round out the Mediterranean spices found in the humble, but delicious, falafel ball. Saison is a historical style that was meant to be consumed in large volumes due to its low alcohol level and relatively sanitary chemical makeup as compared to the local water. Modern Saison’s however, have pushed the envelope of the style and can be as big as 8-9% alcohol. Fun fact, we use Saison yeast in our 7% Tropical IPA (also a winning pairing for a street pita and some tasty balls of Falaf).

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