Everyone knows Biercraft for their great beer selection and killer atmosphere, at both their Commercial Drive location and on Cambie. Along with their extensive selection of Belgian and international beers, they carry a great selection of local craft beers. I decided to head over to the Cambie location last week to pair one of those local craft beers with a great sandwich off their menu. The sandwich of choice was the Muffaletta, a Sicilian style sandwich made popular by Italian immigrants in New Orleans, and one of my personal favourites.
Upon arrival at Biercraft, I was greeted by co-owner and certified cicerone Don. After a brief discussion about potential pairings, Don suggested a beer that certainly seemed like and odd partner for the Muffaletta. I trusted his expert opinion and we decided on the Parallel 49 Schadenfreude.
The Muffaletta is a classic and comes with capicollo, mortadella, prosciutto, provolone and a creole olive tapenade on soft, fluffy and fresh focaccia bread. This sandwich was so good. It had just the right combination of salty delicious cured meats with the briny saltiness of the olive tapenade. The capicollo brought the heat, the prosciutto had the salt and the mortadella had the fat. Together they are perfection. The provolone is subtle and the olives are killer and add a great kick! Now, the real secret to the Muffaletta is allowing the olive mixture to soak deep into the bread, and the fresh focaccia was the perfect sponge. I will definitely be coming back for this sandwich many, many, many more times.
So, this is where’d you probably expect me to start talking about the crisp pilsner or light European lager to pair with this sandwich. But, we’re taking a bit of left turn here, albeit a seasonally appropriate one, to the Parallel 49 Schadenfreude Pumpkin Oktoberfest. With this Parellel 49 has brought together two seasonal styles, Marzen and Pumpkin, into one truly unique beer. Now, I know that this time of year pumpkin beers are king, but I’ve never really been a fan. This beer however, has made me a believer. Its spice nose, gentle malt flavour, crisp lager mouth-feel and pumpkin finish stand up strong against the intense flavours of the sandwich. It’s not overly sweet like the more common pumpkin ales out there right now. None of its unique characteristics are lost or taken over by the salty cured meats and olives in the Muffaletta. This pairing seemed crazy at first, but ended up being spectacular.
So if you’re looking for a classic Muffaletta paired with a totally original seasonal pumpkin lager from a local brewery doing more than a few incredible beers, then head to Biercraft Bistro for This Sandwich and That Beer. If you’re looking to pick up a six-pack of the Parallel 49 Schadenfreude, then I have to recommend hitting up Legacy Liquor in Olympic Village to find it.
Also, catch my monthly radio feature on “Just Here For The Beer Radio” on AM650.
Photo Credits: Mel Yap