I was reading Draft magazine, which is a beer magazine from the mighty US of A when I came upon a small article entitled ‘Above the Rim’ – here is the online version of said article.
The basic concept is that you turn your beer into a margarita by coating the rim of the glass in some sort of dry ingredient, upon drinking the beer flows over the adjunct and you either improve or ruin the taste of the beer.
I needed to try this. I needed to write a blog post about it. I was going to title it ‘My first dry rimming experience.’ but concerned about the type of traffic this might attract, thought better of it. Instead I’ve invented an acronym, because well who doesn’t love an acronym? Well maybe these people, but everyone thinks they are rad. I’ve elected to call this Beer Edge Enhancement or BEE. My house is now the BEER(esearch) institute.
I commenced my research by grounding up a Crunchie bar wetting the side of a cocktail glass with some sugar syrup and then pouring some 4 Pines Stout AKA Space beer in it. I’ve elected to call this ‘Bees in Space’ (to be said just like Pigs in Space). What I learnt is;
1. Don’t drink beer out of a cocktail glass, it makes you look like a tosser and
2. Matching stout with sweet things is actually really, really hard, not sure this did much for the beer.
A week later and I stepped this up a notch. I needed to get an understanding of what goes with what. So I choose the lightest beer in the fridge, Murrays Angry Man pale, nee Nirvana. In truth it probably had too much of its own taste to be a neutral base, but you work with what you have got, and what you like.
Next I took five small glasses and coated them in different things and here’s what I found:
Glass 1: Something called Tomatina Seasoning from Screaming seeds which basically paprika and dried tomato. This taught me that tomato and beer don’t mix too well, also the seasoning was a little chunky for it to work properly.
Glass 2: Rock salt. A nice simple idea, and I have to say it worked well. It made the beer seem so much more refreshing. Not surprisingly it was like eating something really salty, then getting really thristy and then having the first satisfying, thirst quenching mouthful of beer, but all at once. A definite winner, will explore further.
Glass 3: We had a half eaten packet of taco chilli stuff so I thought why not. The reason why not is because, much like number one it didn’t work, the spice was too much.
Glass 4: Both curry powder and mustard powder work well in food, so I thought why not try a mixture of the two with the beer. The result, close to undrinkable, will avoid in the future.
Glass 5: Honey, okay I know it’s not a dry ingredient, but I have to say this actually worked the best of all of the things I tried.
I’m not sure I’d do this everyday of the week or anything, but I does add another layer to the beer experience, and I hazard to guess it might even teach you something about what flavours go with what.