Beer Name: Chicken Scratch
Brewery: Little Harpeth
Style: American Pilsner
Food Pairing: Silo’s Caramel Bacon Popcorn
Appearance: light gold, like a bale of hay
Aroma: wheat, light lemon
Where to Find It: Silo
Once upon a time in Germantown, I lived in a little yellow house on 3rd Avenue North (it’s now a bail bondsman’s office). It was the sort of weird housing situation people in their early twenties—or at least people who are in their early twenties without their shit together—can often fall into: three people living in a sub-1,000-square-foot house; a living-room-turned-bedroom scenario; a constant orbit of discarded Wendy’s chili cups; and, oddly enough, a roommate that was well into his sixties. It was a weird time, okay?
It was also an extremely fun time, thanks in large part to our neighborhood bar, Silo (this was before Jack Brown’s, Butchertown Hall, 5th and Taylor, and the new stadium and all of its surrounding bars). Maybe the warm weather has me feeling nostalgic, but when deciding on a local beer/food pairing this month, I couldn’t stop thinking about strolling down to the patio at Silo and grabbing a Chicken Scratch (in a big ole pilsner glass) and splitting an order of caramel bacon popcorn with whomever I had dragged down to the bar with me.
For IPA or porter lovers, the Chicken Scratch—or pilsners in general—might not pack enough oomf in the way of hops or barley, but that’s exactly what I love about it. The Chicken Scratch is a study in subtlety. There is a hint of sweetness, maybe a touch of lemon, and a slight afterburn of hops, but ultimately, this is a beer that’s meant to be easily enjoyed. As such, it’s the perfect partner to a busy—aka decadent—food like caramel bacon popcorn. The aforementioned hint of sweetness harmonizes with the caramel, while that little bite of hops washes down the richness of the bacon and leaves your mouth feeling refreshed instead of all pork-y. As a matter of fact, this pairing is so good, it’s dangerous—if you’re not careful, you’ll end up ordering two or three of each before you can say cracker jack.