Time for the Black and Tan!
Well, it's almost St. Patrick's Day, the Irish-est of all days here in the United States. So, of course we're all thinking about Black and Tans: the delicious beer cocktail usually made by floating a Stout or a Porter on top of an English Bitter or Pale Ale. Wait a minute…did we just say English? Why, yes we did, because in Ireland, the phrase "black and tan" actually refers to the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force, which was put together in 1920 by the British and engaged in active suppression of the revolution in Ireland!
In fact, even though many modern day black and tans are made from the Irish beer staples of Guiness Stout and Harp Lager, they are much more popular with Brits and Americans, than the Irish. In Ireland, you may want to order a Half and Half, (another name for this combo) instead of a Black and Tan, to avoid offending anyone. But HEY we're not in Ireland, we're in Los Angeles! It's still a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day here in the U.S.!
B&T's are made by slowly pouring the tan portion into a pint first and finishing with Stout on top. The Stout is often poured over an inverted spoon, or "brolly," which hooks onto the pint glass, preventing a mixture of the two beers.
The perfect B&T is pleasing and counterintuitive to the eye because the black beer floats above the supposed lighter beer. The reason the Stout hangs above the lighter beer is because the Stout is actually less dense than the lager and Pale Ale. Wow for physics!
Check out the video below where our friends Evan George and Alex Brown (cheesemongers, food writers, beer reviewers), who have an awesome blog called Hot Knives, show us how to make the perfect Black and Tan!