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    Since you'll inevitably end up finishing the food your kids don't eat, here are some tasty brews to go with your children's leftovers.


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    While my wife Colleen and I prefer to eat roasted fennel with a nice piece of salmon and do our best to plate that to our kids, let's be real- our little girls gravitate toward the typical fare of chicken dinos, cheeseburgers, or PB&J.

    We decided we would take one for the communal parental team and find a way to make the kids' fare more palatable for when we help them clean their plates. We tried out seven different craft beers with the foods our kids regularly eat. It was a monumental effort and here are the results of our epic challenge.

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    Latitude 33 Brewing Blood Orange IPA

    Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin Ale

    Mother Earth Brewing Co. Cali Creamin' Vanilla Cream Ale

    Stone Smoked Porter

    Alesmith Nut Brown

    Speakeasy Prohibition Ale (an Amber)

    and Mike Hess Brewing Claritas Kölsch (German-style)


    Chicken Dinos, broccoli, tater tots, and blueberries

    Almond Butter and Jelly sandwich (peanut allergies, you know), Goldfish crackers, and blueberries

    Spaghetti and marinara sauce, broccoli, and blueberries

    Cheeseburger, french fries, and broccoli

    Grilled Cheese sandwich (we snuck some goat cheese in with the cheddar- delicious), broccoli, and blueberries

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    Cheeseburger, french fries, and broccoli.

    Decent pairings: Blood Orange IPA, Smashed Pumpkin, Prohibition Amber, Claritas Kölsch

    Best Pairing: Alesmith Nut Brown

    The malty, nutty flavor of the brown worked best with this meal when we took a bite of burger, drank, had a piece of broccoli, then rounded it out with the salty french fries. I was sad when we ran out of burger. Note- make extra cheeseburgers.

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    Grilled cheese, broccoli, and blueberries.

    Decent pairings: Smashed Pumpkin, Prohibition Amber, Claritas Kölsch

    Best Pairing: Mother Earth Cali Creamin' Vanilla Cream Ale

    This one knocked us over in a way that had nothing to do with alcohol content. Cream soda, vanilla, caramel, toffee, creamy goodness amped up the richness of the cheese so much that we nibbled on broccoli and blueberries well after the sandwich was obliterated. Oh well. Beer!

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    Chicken Dinos, broccoli, tater tots, and blueberries (with a side of ketchup)

    Decent pairings: Smashed Pumpkin, Cali Creamin' Vanilla Cream Ale, Claritas Kölsch

    Best Pairing: Latitude 33 Brewing Blood Orange IPA

    Hot damn, this was a tasty combo. The key alchemy was the combination of the Blood Orange profile with the tots and chicken dinos dipped in ketchup. The IPA was hoppy enough to soak up the soggy chicken dinos, and it was nice to pair the sweet orange taste with the blueberries at the end of the meal. Win!

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    Spaghetti with marinara sauce, broccoli, and blueberries. You've noticed our kids eat a lot of broccoli and blueberries. They also eat asparagus, green beans, strawberries, bananas... and Peeps, so there's that.

    Decent pairings: Blood Orange IPA, Cali Creamin' Vanilla Cream Ale, Claritas Kölsch

    Best Pairing: Speakeasy Prohibition Ale (Amber)

    This is a more subtle Amber than most, but with enough malt and spice to complement the tang of the spaghetti sauce. It paired nicely with the broccoli after taking a swig then chowing down on the greens and berries. Very earthy tastes all around. Eating spaghetti and drinking beer associated with "speakeasy" and "prohibition", I felt like a character straight out of The Godfather. Not Fredo- anybody else but Fredo.

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    Almond butter and jelly, goldfish crackers, and blueberries.

    Decent pairings: Cali Creamin' Vanilla Cream Ale, Claritas Kölsch

    Best Pairing: Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin Ale

    Besides being my favorite Pumpkin Ale on the market, Shipyard's Smashed Pumpkin was our unanimous pick for best pairing here. The most pronounced flavor to me, nutmeg, came out strong with the almond butter and jelly, and the goldfish acted as a nice palatte cleanser before finishing with another drink and taste of blueberries. The perfect spice with the perfect... meal?

    We found that the Claritas Kölsch went well with everything, being light bodied and with minimal bite to distract from the taste of the food. It's a good go-to for your fridge. The Stone Smoked Porter didn't pair particularly well with anything except the cheeseburger, but as one of my very favorite beers I successfully paired it with a piece of chocolate at the end because I'm classy like that.

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