Start looking today for Sweetwater Brewery's limited release of Second Helping, a collaboration with Staplehouse's Ryan and Jen Hidinger. This was The Giving Kitchen's entry and first-place winner in Sweetwater's "Brew Your Cask Off" on November 9, 2013.
This beer was created to pair well with food and it succeeds. I tried it with roasted sunchokes at Kimball House on the dreariest of days. I am no beer expert, but it was fantastic. The beer and the food brought out the best in each other. Second Helping has a beautiful amber color and a biscuit-y, maltiness (using these words, I realize I hang out with beer geeks a lot). It's hoppy- I read there are 5 types of hops involved. It has this lovely, botanical, piney flavor from the juniper berries Ryan included. The next time I sip it, I will pair it with Ryan's beloved wings.
I love Second Helping because it is delicious, because Ryan and Jen created it with Sweetwater, and because all profits from the beer’s sale will be donated by United Distributors and Sweetwater Brewery to The Giving Kitchen. What is the Giving Kitchen? It is the most beautiful thing to come from hope and love. TGK is dedicated to lending a hand to people from the hospitality industry who have hit a time of crisis.
So raise a glass in happy memory of a life cut short but with an indelible impression. Cheers, Ryan.
*A list of metro-Atlanta places to find Second Helping can be found at the end of Bob Townsend's beautiful article in AJC Food and More here.