Craft Beer & Cigar Pairings
One of my favorite summer pastimes is sitting outside on a clear night and smoking a good cigar maybe with a few beers to stay hydrated.
However, we changed it up a bit the other night and added a little more to the mix by tagging our Appalachian Brewing Company cornhole game with brewery stickers we’ve collected over the past few months (Thank you Harrisburg Beer Week).
Another change this time is I wanted to try to see if I could pair the beers we had with the cigars. It’s not something that is widely done, but if it is done right it can lead to some great taste combinations.
When I have paired cigars in the past it has always been with a dark roasted stout or a bourbon aged beer, but I went for something a little different this time.
I picked a big double IPA, Otto’s Double D and a barleywine, Yard’s Olde Bartholomew. The cigar was an Ashton La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor.
Pairing cigars and beer is a little different than with food. You should take a few puffs of the cigar to get the flavor on your tongue and then sip the beer.
The Double D went great because it’s a little sweeter and maltier than a traditional IPA. It also has earthy hops that go along with the cigar.
We sipped on that while we arranged the stickers. We had about 50 stickers form 20 different breweries and tried to space them out as well as we could. To make sure the stickers stayed on we painted a layer of polyurethane over it the stickers.
We had to wait an hour to put the next coat on so we cracked open the other beer, Olde Bartholomew.
I’m not usually a barleywine drinker; I think they are too sweet, but the roasted flavor from the cigar tamed the sweetness and made it really drinkable.
After letting the boards dry, we lightly sanded them to score the surface so we could apply another coat and let it dry overnight. Here is the finished product and it will be on full display this Sunday for its debut.
We finished the cigars and looked back on the pairings. While it was not a new thing for us to do it was different. The bigger IPAs worked really well and I want to try more.
My next venture with pairing beer and cigars will be with pepper beers and a high ABV saison. [Ed. note: Yay!]
Have you guys paired cigars with beer? If so, what are your favorite pairs?