As one of the most widely observed Jewish holidays, Passover is a Jewish festival which commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Beginning on the 14th day of the month of Nisan in the Jewish calendar, Passover is in spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and is celebrated for seven or eight days.
During this time, nothing leavened can be eaten, which means no bread, beans, rice, anything that puffs up. Matzah crackers and bread are some of the foods traditionally eaten during the week-long holiday.
But what about all the left over Matzah after all of the celebration is over? You can’t just toss perfectly good “bread of affliction” away! Thank goodness the good people at Ambacht Brewing are on it. Based in Hillsboro, Oregon, Ambacht ales are Belgian-inspired and showcase the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. All of the ales from Ambacht are naturally carbonated by bottle conditioning with Pacific Northwest honey.
After Passover, Ambacht brews Matzobraü, which is a Golden Ale with Matzah added to the mash, which makes it wheat ale. This seasonal beer is made right after Passover and weighs in at 6.5% ABV.
Light fruit with some spice on the nose, this brew also has some malt sweetness in the aroma as well. With sweet malts and light fruit showing up in the taste also, the matzah makes its subtle presence known right before the dry finish. The flavors blend well to create an almost saison-like experience.
Although the label on a bottle of Matzobraü state, “not Kosher for Passover,” I paired this brew with something that is…chopped liver. That’s right, you heard me.
Chicken livers turned into a pâté, chopped liver is a traditional dish often served during Passover. Garnished with diced hard-boiled egg, minced parsley, and spread on a cracker, the history of chopped liver goes back to Medieval Germany, where Jews bred and raised geese as the poultry of choice. The first Jewish chopped liver recipes weren’t made with chicken livers, but were actually made from goose liver. Eventually Eastern European Jews began using chicken and beef livers and these recipes “migrated” across the ocean with immigrants to Ellis Island in the late 1800’s.
This made for an interesting combination indeed. The beer was an amazing brew, but the liver is not something I’d eat all of the time, but I’m glad I tried it!
So don’t “Passover” a chance to try this beer from Ambacht!