Craft Beer Tasting: Blonde, Hefeweizen, Pale Ale & Jeremiah Red from BJ’s Brewhouse

by Beer Answers on October 10, 2009

Continued from our earlier post this post shares our beer tasting notes from a recent visit to BJ’s Brewhouse.  We tried a tasting of four beers and paired them with BJ’s sourdough burger and grilled shrimp tacos.  Here are BJ’s own descriptions along with our tasting notes.

bj brewhouse blondeBJ’S BREWHOUSE BLONDE
A light and refreshing pale beer in the style of a German Kolsch. Slightly malty with delicate hopping to balance. Bottom-fermented and well-conditioned for exceptional smoothness.
Described as “delicate hopping to balance. Bottom-fermented and well-conditioned for exceptional smoothness.’

Our notes: Cynthia: The Brewhouse Blonde was a bit too thin.  Slightly watery.  This Blonde beer did not stand up well to the grilled shrimp.

Jim:  I agree that the Blonde was a bit weak but I thought it did what it was supposed to do, not interfere with the taste of the shrimp and taco fixins. It was the beer that they recommended with this dish. As a side, we tried the two darker beers and they both destroyed the taste of the shrimp. Also, the Blonde and Hefeweizen did not stand up at all with the burger.

bj brewhouse hefeweizenBJ’s HARVEST HEFEWEIZEN
Not just another wheat beer. Our hefeweizen is fermented with authentic Bavarian weizen yeast to produce its unique flavor profile – fruity, spicy, and refreshing. Try it without a lemon!

Our notes: Cynthia: The Hefeweizen enhanced the grilled shrimp tacos very well.   Jim: I agree, this matched the food perfectly. Neither got in the way of the other.

bjs brewhouse pale alePIRANHA PALE ALE
A hoppy, American-style pale ale made with Yakima Valley’s best hops. Bittered with Chinook, while dry-hopped with the snappy flavor and bit of Cascade hops. For hopheads only!

Our notes: Cynthia: I didn’t really like this one. It got in the way of the burger. It left a somewhat metallic taste in my mouth.

Jim: I have had a number of IPA’s over the last few months and found that I liked a lot of them. This one, however, was the one I liked the least. More importantly, I didn’t think that it went with either of our food choices.

bj brewhouse jeremiah redBJ’S JEREMIAH RED®
An Irish-style red ale with the full-bodied richness of an English old ale. Brewed with a secret blend of five imported specialty malts. Not too hoppy in order to emphasize the complex malt flavor and fruity aroma.

Our notes: Cynthia: I don’t really like the heavier beers although this did go well with the burger.

Jim: I really like the red ales and this one went great with the burger. Each one made the other taste better. This is one beer that I would order again. As good as it was, it completely overwhelmed the shrimp taco.

Our takeaway:  this is a good brew pub restaurant to begin experiencing craft beer and food pairings.  Especially if you’re traveling because several states have a BJ’s brew pub.

In upcoming posts we’ll talk about some of our faves for craft beer/food pairings. Like our stellar Southern California-based Karl Strauss and the new, delightful Union Ale in Santa Barbara, CA.

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