July 7, 2020
Normally at this time of year, we’d all be shaking out our western duds and getting ready for that great annual outdoor show where we get a chance to cut loose and whoop it up. This year, the pandemic and physical distancing rules have led to this stalwart event being cancelled, meaning no midway, and no new creative fried foods to try, but at the same time, there’ll be no need for standing in line for the beer tent! That’s the bad news, but the good news is that it’s possible to re-create some of the midway treats at home using easy online recipes. And if you take our pairing advice using local craft beer, you may just find you’ve created a great outdoor experience of your own!
Deep-fried Artichoke Hearts
Vegetables probably aren’t the first thing you think of when you dream about food on the midway, but crispy and tender artichoke hearts, drizzled with melted butter and sprinkled with parmesan cheese are an ideal way to start off a midway feast at home. Light, fresh Alberta beer is a great pairing with these fried veggies, and Annex Ale Project’s Good Authority Golden Ale is a lightly hopped, easy-to-like style that pairs well with this, or any fried foods.
Cowboy Wrangler Churro Burger
Sweet meets savoury with the Cowboy Wrangler Churro Burger. This sandwich is a delicious marriage of a sweet and crispy churro bun, topped with gooey melted cheese, crunchy onions, maple aioli and a juicy burger patty.
This burger is incredibly decadent, and it needs a pairing that will cut through its rich sweetness in order for us to keep going back for another bite. Trolley 5 Derailed Pale Ale packs a massive amount of flavour into its light, refreshing frame, so we think its tropical fruit hoppiness is well-balanced, with toasty malt and a great pour if you want to try to re-create this big ol’ burger at home.
Hawaiian Pulled Pork Sandwich
Pulled pork is always a BBQ crowd-pleaser, and it’s a breeze to make at home. The pulled port sandwich created for the midway last year used tangy coleslaw and fresh pineapple to compliment the fatty pork shoulder. Banded Peak’s Microburst Hazy IPA will match the sandwich’s richness, while adding its own explosion of juicy, new world hop flavour. The matching pineapple flavours from the sandwich and the IPA bring this pairing together seamlessly.
Imagine the crispy exterior of the corndog bringing some crunch to the salty, savoury, cheesy Quebecois classic we all know and love. Making this is as simple as getting some frozen corndogs, fries, cheese curds and making gravy. But since this dish is all salt and fat (in the best possible way!), an ice-cold lager would be a perfect match for this dual street-meat and poutine combo. One of Calgary’s best is Dandy’s Import-style Premium Lager. The beer combines toasted rice and Alberta malts with German hops to create a completely refreshing take on the world’s most popular beer style.
Tokyo Street Dog
This hot dog just makes sense. Having a delicious combination of sweet, salty and savoury, a Tokyo street dog is a hot dog coated in a tempura batter and deep fried, then topped with spicy Japanese wasabi mayo, sticky-sweet teriyaki sauce, plus salty-umami seaweed strips, all stuffed into a black octopus ink bun. Okay, making this one at home might be possible, all the way up to the octopus ink bun, but we know you’ll do your best.
To pair with it, we want a jolt of citrus tang to make all of the hotdog’s flavours pop, and Blindman’s Florida Weisse Lemon, Lime and Clementine Kettle Sour is a tropical and tart beauty. One of Alberta’s best breweries, Blindman consistently produces compelling beers that are full of character.
It’s not summer without mini donuts! While the ones from the midway are always hot, sweet and fresh, it’s easy enough to make mini donuts dusted with cinnamon sugar at home—and it’s a fun project for a weekend morning.
If you can wait to serve them up in the afternoon, or until after dinner, we’d recommend pouring a cold one to cut the sweetness. For us, adding the flavours of espresso and cocoa found in Wild Rose’s Barracks Brown Ale would make for the ultimate after dinner indulgence on a warm summer night.
Just because you can’t go to the midway this year doesn’t mean you can’t bring the midway to you. Try making midway treats at home and pairing them with crisp Alberta craft beer. Check out the huge selection of Alberta craft beer at your local Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer!
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