by Patriots Daily Kitchen Staff
September 25, 2009

Sunday will be homecoming day as former Patriots Scouting Director Thomas Dimitroff and former Boston College QB Matt Ryan return to New England. As the Patriots lay out the welcome mat, the Buffet Table is laying out the food and drink.

What to eat?

Georgia loves BBQ pork, we don’t have the hours needed to make pulled pork at a tailgate. Instead we’ll be making some Georgia-fied pork chops

Caraway-peach-ginger pork chops (serves 4)

It doesn’t get more Georgia than peaches; we’ll pair those with ginger a pretty standard match for peaches, and also caraway which is more of a traditional match for pork.


Optional: before making the marinade grill the peaches, this will add another layer of flavor. Take the 2 peaches and split in half with a knife. Remove the pits and then grill 5 minutes per side.

In a blender, mix:

  • 2 peaches
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon powdered ginger
  • Optional: Liquid smoke – drops to taste, go easy it’s strong stuff

4 bone in pork chops, about 1/2″ thick.

Pour marinade over chops and marinate for at least 2 hours; the longer you marinade the better.

Grill over direct heat for about 7 minutes, turning halfway through. If the chops are closer to 1″ thick, reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes.

What to drink?

This week we’re going with Rye beers. Unlike most of the other beers we’ve had on the Buffet Table, rye beers aren’t a particular style but are usually traditional beers with rye addes. You can find beers such as Pale Ale, Porter and Amber Lager where rye has been added in place of the usual barley. There is a special style of rye called Roggenbier where a hefeweizen has had its wheat replaced by barley. Those are made with at least 50% rye.

Some of the other rye beers won’t use quite as much.

Rye adds spiciness to beer. You will get some of the qualities of the beer that the rye was based upon, with the extra kick of rye spiciness and usually a drier finish than the beer style would have on its own.

Unfortunately there are no Georgian breweries distributing to New England on a regular basis. Terrapin from Athens, Georgia is occasionally available in New England on draft. Their rye beer is called Terrapin Rye Pale Ale. It’s a crisp, lightly spicy, refreshing take on a drinkable pale ale.

Founders Brewing from Michigan offers two different rye beers. Red’s Rye is called a pale ale by the brewery but at 6.6% ABV and 70 bitterness units it could easily be considered an IPA instead. The other Founders’ beer is called Black Rye, it’s darker, has a higher rye content and is a little less bitter. Both of these are excellent beers.

From Long Island, Blue Point Brewing makes a big rye beer. Blue Point Rastafar Rye is a 7.5% ABV kind of Octoberfest looking beer but bigger, stronger and full of rye.

The only local offering comes from Wachusett. Wachusett Ryde is a pale aleish, it’s easy drinking, not too bitter and not too strong.

From California, Bear Republic, one of the best breweries in America, brews one of the best rye beers: Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye. Hop Rod Rye is an IPA where 20% of the malt has been replaced by rye. This was one of the first rye beers outside the Roggenbier style.

From one of the first rye beers to one of the newest. Great Divide from Boulder, Colorado turns an Octoberfest into a rye beer with Great Divide Hoss Rye Lager. This one really shows off the rye, as the rye flavor blends with the hop tastes and aroma to make this seem far less malty than a normal Octoberfest. Not a small beer at 6.2% abv it still finishes crisp.

These are two styles that local brewpubs often feature. Portsmouth Brewery, Woodstock Inn, Martha’s Exchange, The Cambridge House, Watch City, Willimantic Brewing and more all make rye beers, some in the Rye added style and some in the full Roggenbier style, but these may not be on tap at this time.

Expect to see more rye beers in the future as even Anheuser Busch has even gotten in on the act, the Michelob fall sampler pack includes a new Michelob Rye India Pale Ale. Bud Rye must be right around the corner.

Another way you may see a “rye beer” is with a barrel aged beer. There has been an ongoing trend to age strong beers in used whiskey barrels. Usually the beer will be a very strong stout or barleywine. Occasionally the barrel used will come from a rye whiskey such as Jim Beam, Buffalo Trace or Wild Turkey, but the most common barrels used are from bourbon. The Rye Whiskey industry was badly hurt by prohibition; moonshine was based on corn or ingredients with even less character. After Prohibition it was the blander Southern Corn whiskey tradition that won out over the Northern/Northeastern rye whiskey tradition. In the far North, home of the Bills, the Canadians don’t even require Canadian rye whiskey to contain rye these days. For once ‘it is what it is’ isn’t true.