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Seasonal Pairing | 大闸蟹的啤酒搭配体验 Beer & Crab

· food pairing






When you’re thinking about booze pairings for classic Western seafood and shellfish dishes, the process is pretty simple: a nice white wine with your seabass or a summer-y lager or hefeweizen with your lobster.

But what about when it’s hairy crab season in Shanghai?


The catch



Shanghainese foodies are just as meticulous with their hairy crab preferences as Westerners are with their perfect Maine lobster. Shellfish as delicious as these delicacies don’t need any extra ingredients. They’re simply steamed so as to preserve their natural flavors, served with a side of rice vinegar, sugar and ginger to dip as you go.

啤酒当前 黄酒靠边

Pair as you please

啤酒的风味千变万化,稍微熟悉精酿的朋友一定同意-- 世上没有一种食物是找不到一款完美的啤酒搭配的。大闸蟹自然也不例外。写到这里,仿佛听见老一辈们的一声叹息:啤酒怎么能配蟹呢,两者同属“性凉”之物,胃寒之大忌啊。


We’re not here to tout any drinking rules, but if you’re wondering the best way to pair hairy crab with your favorite craft beers, we here at TheBrewGirl have already done a bit of intrepid experimenting for you.

Read on - then get up, out the door, steam your own crabs and pop some bottles to enjoy this evening.

交口称赞:鹅岛Madame Rose比利时风格酸啤

Best pairing: Goose Island Madame Rose

为什么Madam Rose是其他鹅岛酸姐妹系列的两倍价格呢,就是因为值!这款混合大量密西根酸樱桃,在橡木桶中陈酿长达2年之久的深棕色酸啤,本来单喝已经是很美好的体验了。偏偏这款从香气到酒体,不仅与大闸蟹的肉质与口感完美贴合,还和经典蘸料陈醋生姜有异曲同工之处,简直为蟹而生。

It’s hard to beat this very funky special sour. The Madame Rose is a brown kriek made with Michigan sour cherries aged in oak barrels for over 2 years with a roselare yeast culture. We were happy to discover that the Madame Rose’s cherry aroma and sour flavor not only brought out the crab’s sweetness, but also upped our dipping sauce game: The acidity of the sour beer mimicked the acidity of our vinegar-based sauce, making for a complex, full bodied and ideal addition to this classic dish.


Next up: 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze


This unpasteurized and unfiltered lambic is famous for its champagne-like spritz thanks to refermentation in the bottle after cask aging. It lends itself to slow sipping, but is less-than-perfect for pairing with hairy crab. It’s signature funk and acidity step just far enough over the line to overpower the flavors of the crab.

无功无过:美奇乐Forêt de Tronçais大麦酒

Honorable mention: Mikkeller Forêt de Tronçais

试喝之前对大麦酒信心满满的原因是,这是我们印象中和黄酒口味最接近的一种风格。果然这款Forêt de Tronçais焦糖浓郁,果香扑鼻,沉甸甸的酒体几乎埋没了气泡的杀口感,超过19%的酒精度也与传统黄酒不相上下。可惜的是,正是这份厚重,一定程度掩盖了大闸蟹作为主角应有的光芒。企图与蟹争锋,只能第三。

Barleywine may not leap to mind when you’re considering pairings for crab, but this choice from Mikkeller surprised and delighted. Perhaps because the flavor of barleywine is similar to traditional Chinese ‘yellow liquor’ (huang jiu, 黄酒), the usual choice of drink pairing during hairy crab season, the sweet fruit and caramel notes of the Forêt de Tronçais complimented the crab well. Our only criticism? This full-on brew packed a punchy mouthfeel too heavy for hairy crab.

我们都没错,只是不适合: 台虎IPA

We wanted to love it: Taihu IPA


Just because a beer is one of your favorites doesn’t mean it will work with everything you eat. So it goes with the Taihu IPA. Even though it’s one of our favorite brews, the pronounced fruity hops of this IPA still drowned the sweetness of the crab meat in a sea of bitterness.



Time for dessert: The Taihu Columbia Coffee Brew

Brewed special for Starbucks @ Taikoo Hui


Close your eyes, take a sip and you might imagine you’re drinking a nitrogen cold brew coffee straight from the tap - or even a liquid tiramisu. We had finished the crabs by the time we got to this beer, and it was perfect to lift us up after a heavy meal and cleanse the palate.

为了让妈妈们放心:申爱 X TheBrewGirl联名酒红艾尔

Dessert’s 2nd course: Shanghai Love x TheBrewGirl’s First Date


This red ale aged with dried dates floods your Shanghai senses with nostalgia. Just like the traditional Chinese desserts our families would bring to the tables during autumn, date and lotus nut soup, the First Love will win you over with its beguiling sweetness. It’s the perfect way to end a hairy crab feast: In China hairy crabs are considered a “cold food” (凉性食物), while dates are considered a “hot food” (热性食物). Enjoying both together is the perfect way to balance your yin and yang - not to mention it’s a damn good dessert beer.

我们还喝了: 黄酒罐“陈酿”的酒红艾尔(有点恶心);台虎金桔科隆(有点单薄);台虎肯亚咖啡IPA(效果雷同)。因为没有达到预期配搭效果,就不一一赘述了。你有更好的搭配建议吗?不妨留言分享。

What beers are your favorite to pair with hairy crab? Tell us about your own taste-testing in the comments below.

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