While reading this it is advised to play the video below, and if you’re in a busy office make sure you have it loud as possible because everyone appreciates that.
Without resorting to too many completely unfounded stereotypes it seems that we men have an attraction to things that will inevitably cause us pain. Hell, just doing painful things for the sake of it seems part and parcel to the “owning a wang” experience. So when I heard a tip-off from The Skinny Perth that Run Amuk Hotdogs Unleashed in South Fremantle has a colon melting dawg on the menu I knew instantly what had to be done. With a week to prepare (and sleepless nights spent in anticipation) a bit of research was required. Sure, there’s nothing better than knocking back a frosty lager with a greasy vindaloo, but what’s the optimum chilli and beer match? Is lager really the best match, or have we once again been deceived by the all-powerful and morally corrupt Lager Lobby (who eat babies I swear)? Days went by as I rifled through ancient tomes and manuscripts, my mind slipping into the depths of madness as the answers eluded me. Stacks upon stacks of books towered above in my relentless search, paranoia now deeply entrenched as I start to suspect conspiracy and plots abound as I start to question my sanity.
Is there an answer?
What secrets are the Illuminati hiding?*
Is that librarian paying a little too much attention?
Is the Library of Tax Laws the best place to be looking for this?
Then a voice came unbidden in my head and whispered “Google that bitch.” As it turns out Craftbeer.com has a few words on the subject worth checking out. The basic ideas are that high alcohol content makes you more vulnerable to heat, and sweeter malty beers have a soothing effect on the palate. Therefore: chilli and wine = having a bad time.
With this knowledge I went out at purchased these bad boys from The International Beer Shop in West Leederville. It was not until later that I noticed the huge mistake I made. More on that later. Armed to the teeth with malty brown ales and IPAs, it was time to take on the Run Amuk Dare Devil dog.
Run Amuk is a damn cool little joint overflowing with kitch and energy from the bus-seat booths and Where’s Wally tables, to the friendly staff and fun approach to food and dining. Does the word “dining” apply to messily scarfing down meat in buns? Meh. Another point in their favour is the BYO policy (in that they have one), which meant this beer experiment could go public. The Skinny Perth, a friend and I all ordered Dare Devils ($14), which consist of a tasty bratwurst, caramelised onions, aged cheder, sour cream, two kinds of chilli sauce, spinach (i.e. my greens for the night) and fresh green chillies on top. The Foodie Hub went for the Chilli Dog and the Tomfoolery, neither particularly “hot” hot dogs, on account of his wanting to go bike riding in the morning, which in retrospect was perhaps the wisest decision ever made by humankind. [On a side note, how awesome are those guitar solos right now?] To prepare for the Devil Dog the first beer to go down was the Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale as a kind of tongue-coater to hopefully help deal with the heat. When poured the appearance is murky and muddy with a creamy head, the aroma being intensely nutty. In hindsight, the Maduro would have been the best pick to take on the Devil Dog with; it has a reasonable alcohol level of 5.5% and a sweet maltiness perfect for combatting chilli. Oh well.
Here’s where I made my mistake. On advice I picked out a Nøgne Ø Citrus Hystrix IPA to quench the unholy fires about to assault my body. Brewed from malt (as all Nøgne Ø are made) with the addition of rye, oats, kaffir lime and tangerine juice it seemed like another perfect chilli matching beer. The dogs arrive and we smash right into them, the red sauce glaring at us with evil intent as we take our first bite. YES. This isn’t underwhelming “restaurant hot,” aiming to appease a wide market, this dog is designed for PAIN. My lips instantly start to sting and my tongue starts to burn as the sauce and chillies start to wash over. First sip of the Hystrix – nothing’s happening. The flavour is bold and is cutting through a bit of the delicious Dare Devil dog flavour with a nice bitter nuttiness and sight tang of citrus, but the heat remains. Tunnel vision starts to set in about halfway through the dog and still the beer does nothing. I look at the bottle and notice the alcohol content: 7.5%. Oh dear. Rookie error right there. The chilli now sits at that threshold between painful and inedible, and oh-so delicious to a chilli-lover such as myself. My co-diners were also in a kind of stunned silence as we pushed through the pain to the bemused looks of the Run Amuk staff and still THE DAMN BEER DOES NOTHING.
Then it ends. Last vestiges of chilli sauce licked from fingers and left with a lingering, satisfying burn, all that’s left is contemplation and ice-cream. We order a Knickerbocker Glory to finish things off (vanilla ice cream, strawberry jelly, chocolate sauce, nuts and fresh cream with mini M&M’s, flake chocolate and a cherry on top) and I discover something amazing. Hystrix is a perfect match for ice-cream. Mind. Blown. Already with a creamy mouth feel, the beer suddenly becomes silken and luxurious with the ice-cream. Could this be the greatest beer spider/ beer float ever made? Next time.
A note to those playing at home: do not have anything planned the day after a Devil Dog. You may not find it pleasant.
Also note that I didn’t write up anything about the Bone Yard Grapefruit IPA or the Nail Ale Australian Pale Ale. They weren’t tasted during the dawg eating so I decided to leave them out, for now. I will say, however, that they were delicious, the Bone Yard especially – bitter and tangy, just how I like it. The Nail Ale was decent but I’ll have to try it again when my taste-buds are less chilli ravaged.
Literally me after the Dare Devil (Skip to 1:09)
*If the Illuminati are reading this and looking for new members hit me up yo.