One of the classic combinations in certain regions of France is Picon Biere, that is a Pilsener or Wheat beer with a splash of Amer Picon poured in.
Unfortunately, we don’t get Amer Picon here in these United States.
However, even if Diageo refuses to send us Amer Picon, we do get a lot of other Amaros…
With this series of posts we shall explore the possibilities we do have available.
Amaro Ciociaro & Gordon Biersch Zwickel Bock
Gordon Biersch isn’t exactly a small craft brewer, more of a semi-large producer of beers. This beer has been staring at me from the shelf at Canyon Market for a while. With its attractive motto, “Never Trust a Skinny Brewer,” and resealable bottle. Who can resist an unfiltered lager?
This special unfiltered Hellerbock (Blonde Bock) was made by tapping directly into an aging tank of Blonde Bock via the Zwickel (German for “sample valve”). This unfiltered version is extraordinarily fresh and smooth creating a drinking experience previously only available at the brewery.
Regarding the whole “Amer Picon” controversy, a while ago, well regarded cocktail and spirits wordsmith David Wondrich tasted through his entire stock of Amaros, looking for the single Amaro which most closely resembled Amer Picon. At the time, he chose Amaro Ciociaro as closest, maybe being just a tad more herbal and needing a touch of extra bitter orange zest. His recommendation, Amaro Ciociaro with a dash of bitters.
METHOD: Pour a beer into the mason jar of your choosing. Pour in a half shot (2cl) of Amaro combined with a dash or two of Orange Bitters (I used Miracle Mile Orange Bitters).
I think I have gotten lucky again with this combination.
While the Zwickel Bock on its own might have been a tad sweet for my taste, the astringency of the Amaro and Orange Bitters cuts it a bit and lingers on in the aftertaste. Tasty.