When you’re from St. Louis and you fall in love with a New Orleans girl and her father tells you to “suck the head or starve,” it can be interpreted in many, many ways. Luckily for me, I knew exactly what he meant, grabbed my plastic plate, filled it with a pound or more of steaming hot, red mudbugs and my life would never be the same.
Now 34 years later, and believe me, hundreds upon hundreds of pounds of crawfish, I know my way around a boil. Especially when it comes to what beer to drink when I’m sitting down and getting down to business.
How to eat crawfish
You eat a crawfish by pinching and twisting where its head and tail meet, peeling then eating the tail but sucking the boil juice out of the head. That juice gives you a quick taste of what went into the boil, which will be a spicy combination of pepper, hot sauce, and Cajun seasoning. When added to these flavors, the beer you drink is as important as all that went into the boil.
This is why I want you to ingest this guide to the best Urban Chestnut beers to drink at the upcoming crawfish boil at the Midtown Brewery & Biergarten on Tuesday, April 27th, and Wednesday, April 28th.
And in honor of the event, UCBC is releasing a special draught sneak preview of its newest beer to hit the shelves: Li’l Fritz, Light Citrus Wheat! At only 99 calories and 4% ABV (per 12oz. serving), Li’l Fritz is a perfect companion to go with crawfish.
This year’s event will consist of two sessions and will require reservations. Reservations are made “by the table” meaning you will purchase one table that will include enough of Chef Matt’s Crawfish Boil and Jambalaya to serve each person in your party. (One bowl of jambalaya per person, and 2 pounds of crawfish boiled with G&W smoked andouille, potatoes, corn, and mushrooms per person).
What to drink
There are plenty of appropriate styles that pair well with the spice of the crawfish. Pilsners are amazing as are pale ales, blondes, or wheats. Love you a Hefeweizen if you are into them. Look for a relatively low ABV, but don’t get hung up on it. Also, a lower IBU or less bitterness is preferred as well. Again, you DON’T want to cleanse your palate when eating crawfish. Right now, we do not know what beers UCBC will have available, but here are the best from their beer menu, which we hope will be available, to go along with Li’l Fritz.
Similar to a Hefeweizen. The first beer in the Revolution series of modern, American craft beer. A bit nutty but the low IBU of 22 makes it perfect.
Hallertauer Pale Ale
BAVARIAN PALE ALE
5.6% ABV | 36 IBU
Pale Ale’s are perfect. Clean, light with just enough hop to make them interesting. This one’s flavor has a nice mix of rich hops and fruits which pair nicely with the spiciness of the crawfish.
Their flagship lager is smooth-drinking and not overpowering. It will be perfect. A great go to lager made true to its German influence.
Could the be the most perfect crawfish boil beer. UCBC describes this German pilsner as having been brewed to celebrate the idea of community and socializing. Done!
To many crawfish lovers, a saison is also another “perfect” beer for the boil. This farmhouse ale is a tribute to our beloved city.
4.8% ABV | 16 IBU
The unmistakable characteristics of this Bavarian Weissbier are decidedly fruity and phenolic. You may note clove, nutmeg or even vanilla and/or banana-like aromas and flavors.
5.2% ABV | 18 IBU
Has a generous range of flavor and is often infused with a variety of spices, primarily coriander and dried citrus fruits.
4.2% ABV | 13 IBU
Drink it ‘straight’ to appreciate the light tartness…Or repeat these words “Ich bin ein Berliner” and add a bit of elderflower, blackberry, or plum syrup just as they do along Kurfürstendamm.