So I am back from my trip to the Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware, and I have come home with a few interesting beers from what has become over the years my favorite brewery. In the spirit of my weekend traveling, I decided to rip of a great blog I read, and do a game and booze pairing.
Today is the SNES classic Chrono Trigger, and the Dogfish Head brew Chateau Jiahu. Now first, let me make a confession that haunts me to this day as both a gamer and an RPG aficionado; I have never beaten Chrono Trigger. I have seen most of the game over the years, but I have never sat down, be it SNES, emulator, or DS and beat the hell out of this great game. I decided to finally change that this weekend, and got through a lot of the game on the ride to and from Delaware thanks to Dramamine and a lot of traffic. However, I wanted to pair this game with a Dogfish Head brew, and found my target. However, due to weariness from traveling, and my work schedule, I was not able to throw myself into this experiment until tonight.
Chateau Jiahu is a heavy, sweet beer. It has quite the history, the recipe coming from over 9000 years ago, found in a Neolithic village in China. Archaeologists found residue from pottery in the village and reverse engineered the alcohol within. The result here is a very fruity, golden drink that brings a heaviness one could not expect from simply looking at it. It pours extremely well into the Dogfish Head laser-etched glass, with mimics a snifter, bringing minimal, but desired head, the foam bringing an almost airy prelude to the depth that lies past. Despite the light, golden color, the drink carries a myriad of complex flavors. The rice oil carries a certain weight we are not used to feeling in western beer, and the grapes mixed with honey add a sweetness that people would not be able to guess on scent alone.
As I said earlier, the beer comes from a recipe that is 9000 years old. Like Square’s classic, the delicious flavor of Chateau Jiahu travels through time to where it will be able to show how good it is. Also like Chrono Trigger, it is colorful and lighthearted on the surface. However, this first glance belies a depth that truly needs to be experienced to be appreciated. The eastern roots of the drink also show a great breath of life when put under a western lens, much like the esteemed RPG. It is refreshing to find a flavor bold enough to carry the heavy alcohol content that Chateau Jiahu does, but dare to bring a flavor that more than placates the normally lighter, eastern sensibility to alcohol flavoring. It was truly a pleasure to experience Magus’ castle while drinking this beer.