August 20, 2010

FNBP: New Belgium's Explore Series & The Gaslight Anthem

One day The Gaslight Anthem wasn't on my radar, the next they where everywhere. The same, I believe, can be said for New Belgium Brewery's ever-growing fleet of beers—one day they weren't anywhere to be found, the next day they were popping up on the shelves of every neighborhood market and the beverage lists of any self-respecting watering hole. For tonight's Friday Night Beer Pairing I would like to focus on New Belgium's Explore Series (consisting of Ranger IPA, Mothership Wit, Abbey and Trippel) and The Gaslight Anthem's American Slang.

The good people at New Belgium, with special credit to Belgian brewmaster Peter Bouckaert, are helping Americans from coast to coast expand their malted beverage horizons by "brewing delicious beers with loads of character and aspiring ingredients." Abbey is a Belgian dubbel brewed with six different malts and authentic Belgian yeast and weighs in at 7.0% alcohol. Trippel is smooth and complex, but the strongest of the four. Mothership Wit, named after the Fort Collins Brewery, is a citrusy, refreshing white beer. Lastly, the Ranger IPA is a deliciously hoppy butt-kicker of a beer with hints of citrus and fruit, but mostly awesomeness. All four make for great sipping and enjoying, and especially with the right musical pairing. When I think New Belgian, I think fresh and refreshing, but with an old-style influence and character. This is almost precisely the way I feel about the amazing things The Gaslight Anthem have been doing with their Boss-esque, invigorating sound.

I think it's fair to say that The Gaslight Anthem's music goes well with a wide variety of beers; however, something about the trailblazing, multi-influence approach of the New Belgium Brewers couples well with the diverse and dynamic music generated by Brian Fallon and the rest of the band. Gaslight's music on American Slang ranges from introspective and touching to jubilant and uplifting. The influences are comprised of the obviously heavy touch of punk and classic rock to more subtle strains of rockabilly and blues. Regardless, the tracks off of this effort are just as catchy and well-structured as those found on The '59 Sound.

Great beer; great album. It is undeniable that you will look and feel ridiculously cool while enjoying both.


Brasilliant said...

YAY! FNBP is back. And Belgian.

awmercy said...

Nice job tying the two together, especially the line "fresh and refreshing, but with an old-style influence and character." Agreed.

Sounds like I am going to have to try this Ranger IPA and see how it holds up against the big guns in the Northwest.

sandenuts said...

Great beer, great album, great post, as always you the man Nightrain!

Mona said...

Just a few days prior I'm asking you when you're gonna hurry up and do a nod to Belgian beers, and you come up with this AND pair it with Gaslight! Awesome. But I hope you know that you just set the bar incredible high for yourself for future FNBP, haha.

Mona said...

Oh, and this point is especially sentimental for me since it reminds me of all the little hole-in-the-wall college bars and taverns in New Brunswick, NJ (where I went to college and where they're from!).

Gaslight, if you're reading this, play a homecoming show at The Court Tavern!!! I'm sure your beers will be on the house.