Matty Smooth loves Jambalaya and Trippel.

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Matty Smooth loves Jambalaya and Trippel.

Here is food pairing number 2 from our very own Matty Smooth, take a gander:

Some of my first experiences with cooking and beer came when I was a kid. My dad loved to celebrate his birthday at Sapphire Point. It was a winter wonderland every March with an incredible view of Lake Dillon and the mountains.

It wasn't that my dad took the kids up here to get blasted, it's that he always ended up cooking with beer as the primary liquid. He'd always make this jambalaya recipe from the back of a Tabasco bottle, on the old Coleman camp stove, and every year he'd forget to bring water for cooking.  Usually one of his friends was there, and that meant that there was beer. So, he ended up cooking everything in beer and it was awesome.

Fast forward a few years and here I am cooking and pairing with beer.  Wanting to be more or less true to my roots, I figured why not make some jambalaya and see how it works with beer nowadays. I got my hands on good looking fresh gulf shrimp (probably for the last time, unfortunately).

I always have kind of a hard time pairing spicy foods with beer. Here, I thought that a beer with a lot of flavor and some spice might compliment the many, many, spices and herbs in the jambalaya.  I took what I thought would be a little bit of a gamble by choosing Trippel.

Now, normally I'm not one to toot my own horn, but watch this: (wait for it...) TOOT TOOT! That's right, I picked the best pairing imaginable (looks like I've used my annual allotment of narcissism in the process).

The sweetness and fruity esters was a nice contrast to the savory sausage and shrimp flavors, while the spicy character of the beer complemented the south-Louisiana kick of the jambalaya.

I will say this: it tasted better than the minute-rice and frozen shrimp version my dad used to make, but the view wasn't quite as nice.

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