Wasabi & Ginger

Beer + pizza? Obviously.
Beer + burgers? Duhhh.
Beer + sushi? Ding, ding, ding, ding!!

While sushi might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of foods that go well with beer, the two actually make an excellent combo. We talked about doing a sushi and beer dinner this entire summer, and finally got around to it a couple of weeks ago on the first day of fall.

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Left Hand’s Good Juju was an obvious first choice for our dinner. We’ve blogged about this light ale brewed with ginger before, and it truly is the ultimate sushi beer. If you like rolls with a spicy drizzle or smothered in wasabi, the Juju is a refreshing accompaniment, perfect for cooling down a fiery palate. If you prefer to top your sushi with pickled ginger, the ginger flavor in the beer will enhance that of the fresh ginger on your roll. This beer is a staple at our favorite sushi spot in Charlottesville because it goes well with a variety of rolls, and hot dishes too (mmm, peanut-lime noodles).

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Our second beer, Dogfish Head’s Rosabi, was more intimidating than the light, palate-friendly Juju. The Rosabi is an imperial pale ale brewed with wasabi, and according to DH, the Japanese root actually adds bittering and herbal notes similar to hops. We bought this beer a few months ago, so the hops had deteriorated a bit, resulting in a more malt-forward taste, but the wasabi flavor remained intact. The Rosabi is far less spicy than the green paste that comes with your sushi. However, like the pungent condiment, it packs a strong initial punch, but mellows quickly. The heat is noticeable when the beer first hits your tongue, but it doesn’t linger on your palate like chili pepper spiciness does. We didn’t think this paired with the sushi as well as the Juju, but we’re more likely to order a pint of Rosabi if we see it on tap at a bar. With its full body and strong flavors, this beer can definitely stand on its own.

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Do you have a go-to sushi beer? Or do you prefer to wash down your rolls with wine or sake? Or sake bombs, perhaps? 😉

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