I wish for a turkey sandwich on rye bread with lettuce and mustard. And… and I don’t want any zombie turkeys, I don’t want to turn into a turkey myself, and I don’t want any other weird surprises, you got it?

-Homer Simpson

As my friend Campy Draper is fond of asserting, “I like sandwiches.”  I agree with him.  You can make a sandwich to satisfy any craving.  Man-hungry?  Try roast beef and swiss on pumpernickel with some good dijon mustard.  Vegi-hungry?  Have some pepper, onion, cucumber, sprouts and cream cheese on 12-grain.  Sweet and salty craving?  How about some bacon between two slices of cinnamon french toast?  Personally, I’ve been on a long-time quest to find the best Italian sub in the world, though moving to the west coast has put the brakes on that somewhat (why the hell doesn’t anyone out here make a decent Italian sub???).  Yes, the sandwich is a versatile and delicious creation (thanks, Earl of Sandwich).  Also delicious?  Beer.  However, due to the sandwich’s unfair exile to the mid-day meal, sandwich/beer pairings have been largely neglected.  I propose to remedy that here today.

And so, in the grand tradition of our what-beer-pairs-with-what Conundra, I pose to you this week’s query: Create for us the perfect sandwich/beer combination.



The answer is a Reuben and a Ten FIDY. Next question, please.



I think the best way to go about this is to pick a great beer and design the sandwich around it. For example, the perfect choice for a Founders Breakfast Stout would be a Sausage Mcmuffin with Egg.



No, Herr Hordeum. The answer is a Reuben and a Ten FIDY! Next question, please!!!



Next question: See question 1, but you cannot choose a Reuben or a Ten FIDY.  Go.



Why aren’t you listening to me?! It’s a Reuben and a Ten FIDY!!!



Alright, Obsessy McNeverwrong, convince us then.  Just saying ‘Reuben’ isn’t specific enough.  Tell us about your Reuben.



Fair enough. My Reuben is pretty much just a regular Reuben, but even more Reubenesque. As for my Ten FIDY, it comes in a can…it was put there by a man.



Why would you want to ruin a Reuben, one of the greatest sandwich creations in the history of the world, with a Ten FIDY, one of the most over-powering and amazing beers ever created?  A Reuben is perfect, a Ten FIDY, is perfect – Let’s just leave those two alone.  A nice accompaniment to a Reuben is a tall glass of water, maybe even a gingered ale if you so choose.  With a Ten FIDY, the only thing I want next to that brew is another can of Ten FIDY.  The two go great together.

I will get right to the point with my choice.  The answer of course is a Pastrami with Swiss on a Bulkie Roll from Sam LaGrassa’s, paired with a Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale.  Sam’s throws their pastramis in a pot with leftover pastrami stock, adds brown sugar, than rubs them with more brown sugar on the way out.  The resultant meat is a smoky, briney blend of that’s not too sweet, not too salty, and impossibly complex.  The crunchy crust on each thin slice melts in your mouth within seconds.  All you need is a little slice of Swiss, a dab of brown mustard, and you’re good to go for the best sandwich experience of your life.  An English Brown Ale, such as the Old Brown Dog, pairs perfectly with this meal because it’s subtle and not overwhelmingly complex.  It’s just a straight-up great beer.  While a Lagunitas Brown Shugga’ may make sense for some, I think a nearly 10% beer is just too powerful for my delictible morsels of pastrami.



A few items:

  • I have no problem with The Reuben.
  • This is the worst conundrum topic since “What was the first cheap shitty beer you vomited in high school?”. You’re more of a figurehead than an ideas guy here Beerford- if you need some help, just ask for it.
  • I have no problem with Ten FIDY.

That being said, to take this in a more regional direction if I found myself in Pittsburgh, as I so often do, the answer is a Primanti’s Cheese Steak, the classic concoction of grilled meat, vinegar-based cole slaw, tomato slices, and French fries between fresh Italian bread. that’s right- fries in the sandwich! If you come to the ‘Burgh, you have to try one of these. Magnus did- and look how that turned out. We’ll keep the beer in PA proper: Troeg’s Nugget Nectar, as tasted by the man himself in his very first note anticipating the trip.



Wait, figurehead?  Does that mean I’m the titular leader on the site???  That’s awesome!  I’ll totally keep doing my janitorial duties if I can be referred to henceforth as His Royal Majesty King Beerford McBrewin’.  Or even just Beerford the Bruce.  Actually that might even be better, because then I can respond to all future criticisms with, “My hate… will die… with you.”*


For the record, I love Reubens.  They’re delicious.  And I love Ten FIDY.  It’s delicious.  But for my combo (since I’m going last), I’m going to pick an ice cream sandwich made from two chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies and a scoop of french vanilla ice cream, and a Lindemans Framboise.  Beat that dessert with a stick!

Anyway, this hasn’t ended up being a conundrum so much as an illustration of the kind of weirdness that usually happens over the Aleheads email distribution group.  So now you know.  And knowing is… wait, that’s not how I sign off.  I guess I’m just running out of clever ways to lead into…


  1. Beerford, I try to hold to the ‘your mouth, your beer’ ideal, but Lindemans is a case study in how not to make beer and what beer not to make. Please don’t kill your beer. If you kill it, have the decency to not perform some terrible cervesomancy and call it beer.

    The Reuben is a good place to start, if you start with corned beef, not turkey and not pastrami. Make sure it’s a hard rye, too. With that Reuben, though, you can go two ways, a good Pilsner (Victory Prima Pils) or a dry Stout.

    If you want a sweet pairing, start with your ice cream sandwich, but make it pistachio ice cream, and two almond oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Pair it with North Coast’s Special Old Ale Reserve.

    Only one of the two options is suitable for my midday meal, but I’m a lightweight.


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