Friday, November 9, 2012

Marines turn 237 & do it with beer

Event notice
Most craft beer enthusiasts know food and beer these days are a much-talked-about ticket.

Thanks to that, beer enjoys a vaunted status like wine (set aside for now the argument that beer has always deserved that place in culinary discussion).

Food takes high-brow beer even higher. So this dish may make for a head-scratcher hearing it mentioned beside craft beer.

But since the lowly creamed chip beef on toast is on the buffet menu for the Tun Tavern brewpub's 15th observance of the founding of the US Marines this Saturday, it deserves some attention, as far as beer pairings go. (Iwo Jima Chili is also on the buffet, by the way.)

The emblematic comestible of dogfaces and jarheads (the dish has a 100-plus year association with the US military), cream chipped beef goes by a few handles in GI slang, like Stew on a Shingle, Something on a Shingle, or the more memorable Shit on a Shingle.

Yeah, it's a borrowed phrase
But what beer goes with it?

Tun Tavern brewer Tim Kelly recommends dialing back the hops. Malt flavor, too.

"Maybe Tun Light, or Irish Red because of the cream," says Tim, who did a hitch in the Army.

We're going to suggest giving a pint of Leatherneck Stout a try next to that plate of SOS. The hops aren't upfront, and the roastiness just might balance with the cream.

But whatever.

For the Marine Corps birthday bash, you'll find the Leatherneck Stout and the Tun's house-made light beer on the tap lineup beside regulars Devil Dog Pale Ale and All American IPA, plus pair of seasonal pumpkin beers  – Tim's traditional pumpkin lager and a 9 percent imperial pumpkin ale.

Semper Fi and the birthplace of the Marines
Craft beer fans in New Jersey know the Tun Tavern as Atlantic City's only brewery, located across from the Convention Center, which itself sits at the foot of the Atlantic City Expressway. (Tun owner Monty Dahm is a former Marine, and his establishment is outfitted in Marine Corps trappings. This video will give you a taste for what the event is like.)

On Nov. 10th, 1775, at the original but now long-gone Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, the Marines were founded. It was a marshaling of troops for the cause of, well, revolution, for getting the king of England out of everyone's face, an endeavor that had begun with a can't-turn-back-now moment over the previous April.

By that November, things had grown into a call for a few good men.

The rest is history. And beer.

237th birthday of US Marines
Where: Tun Tavern, Atlantic City
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10th
Cost: $12.95 for buffet, $2 pints of beer

The Tun Tavern deserves some applause for pitching in during Hurricane Sandy. The brewpub is located on the west side of the city, where the elevation is a little higher, so it was spared flooding by storm surge (the high water did come up the veranda, though). The Tun lost power for about three days, but pressed some gas grills into service to feed emergency responders.