Snacks and foods to pair with the Social Distancing beer from Vail Brewing Co. |

Pair these snacks and foods that are already in your cabinet with the Social Distancing beer from Vail Brewing Co.

SOCIAL DISTANCING Style: Hazy IPA, New England IPA ABV: 6.7% Flavor notes: Lychee, papaya, key lime, pine and stone fruit Source: Untappd, the beer social media app

Last week, Vail Brewing Co. released an, ahem, seasonal brew titled Social Distancing. This hazy IPA is “hopped up with Nelson Sauvin and Mosaic” hops, according to the can packaging, and delivers everything you want when signing into your various virtual happy hour calls.

VBC is also offering $1 off four- and six-pack purchases, as well as 25% off all merchandise. Purchases must be made in-store to get the discounts.

Beers are always nice on their own, but they get even better when paired with something. Here are three pairings for VBC’s Social Distancing beer. Best part is you probably have all these things in your house: no extra effort needed. So sit back, relax, have a glorious ASMR moment when cracking the top and enjoy.

For a happy hour snack: the last pickles left in the jar

Dill pickles have a similar bite to them as this Hazy IPA. I doubt the pairing would work as well with sweet or bread and butter pickles.
Casey Russell |

Crack open the beer can and ask the strongest person in your house to put in some muscle or run the jar lid under hot water. Social Distancing goes great with one of the three dill pickle spears left floating in the jar. Seriously, though. If you’re a pickle fan, chances are you have a random jar in your fridge, and the briny bite of the pickle pairs nicely with the crisp and piney flavor of the beer.

For an “oh, heck yeah,” dinner: rice ‘n’ beans

It doesn’t matter if you start with canned or dry beans – they both taste good. Dry beans might feel a little fresher, but can be a hassle to prepare.
Casey Russell |

Chances are, you have rice, and chances are, you have beans. A match made in heaven. The possibilities of rice and beans are endless. Plus, so many cultures have some variation of beans and rice that you can experiment with different flavors and develop a recipe that works for you. Two of my favorite variations are black beans with lime and cilantro (Chipotle style) and black, pinto or kidney beans cooked with garlic, salsa and cheese. Both are great topped with avocado. You could also pair this with chicken or beef as a side dish, or use it as a base for burritos. Any way you make it, it will taste great with Social Distancing.

For late-night Netflix binging: popcorn that’s been in your cabinet so long you’re not sure when you bought it

My favorite dry, easy popcorn toppings: Old Bay, nutritional yeast and salt; everything bagel seasoning and extra salt; Frank’s Red Hot powdered seasoning blend and salt; black truffle sea salt.
Casey Russell |

I’m a big fan of stovetop kernel popping because it’s so fresh and so cheap, but I imagine this pairing would also taste great with your classic Orville Redenbacher. I like to top my corn with Old Bay, nutritional yeast and salt in equal proportions on a normal night. But if you’re feeling like putting in some extra effort, this recipe for hot sauce popcorn has been perfected over years by my best friend and me.

Melt butter in the microwave, then add an equal part of Frank’s Red Hot sauce, mix and pour over the popcorn while shaking or stirring it to distribute it. It sounds weird, but trust me, it’s delicious, and makes a night watching “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” even better.

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