What pairs best with craft beer? That’s a big question and the answer can vary widely depending on what kinds of foods and what styles of craft beers you’re talking about. Do you have any favorite food(s) you enjoy pairing with your favorite beers? You can pair pretty much any type of food with craft beer as long as you stick to the basics of pairing. Do you want the beers you’re paring your foods with to compliment those foods with a similar flavor profile, contrast those foods to help balance things out, or do you want to use the food as a palate cleanser between dishes/courses?
One of the most popular foods to pair with craft beer is cheese. There is such a diversity in the taste, texture and aroma of cheeses that you can really get into exploring different paring options and have a lot of fun with it. If this sounds like something you might enjoy then you’ll want to mark your calendar for Tuesday, May 14th during Seattle Beer Week, when Stoup Brewing Company will host Gilbert’s Cheese Experience for their Seattle debut. Four different Stoup beers will be paired with four different cheeses from Gilbert’s, allowing you to explore and find your favorite pairing.
Do you know how you’re planning to spend New Year’s Eve this year? I usually spend mine at home with some craft beers from my cellar, my family and my dogs – who really don’t like the fireworks we always seem to get in our neighborhood. If you’re fortunate to not have anxiety-riddled doggies to babysit or if you haven’t made plans yet and are looking for some ideas (and if you’ll be down in Bend, OR), Worthy Brewing Company has an event you might be interested in.
On New Year’s Eve this year, Worthy Brewing is hosting a 5-course beer (or wine) pairing dinner, featuring a cocktail hour before dinner, live music throughout the whole evening, dancing after dinner and a champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight.
There are several great restaurants in Seattle. Since my primary focus here at CraftBeerMonger.com is on craft beer though (and to a lesser degree craft cider and other craft alcoholic beverages), I haven’t visited as many of Seattle’s fine dining establishments as I’d like. Also, due to my somewhat unusual work schedule, I don’t get to downtown Seattle for a good meal very often.
That’s why I was pleased to receive an invitation recently from Urbane to experience, on them, their Fresh Hop dinner, featuring Fresh Hop beers from Georgetown Brewing Company. Urbane is a farm-to-table restaurant who prides themselves on sustainability and using locally-sourced ingredients. In fact, the vast majority of Urbane’s ingredients come from within a 200-mile radius of the restaurant located at 8th Ave and Olive Way in the Hyatt at Olive 8 building downtown.
Craft beer and food pairings are everywhere these days, as they should be. I’m glad we’re finally starting to reach the point where pairing great craft beers with great food is nearly as ubiquitous (at least here in the Northwest) as pairing wine with food. In fact, I think that the range and diversity of craft beer styles offers even more exciting food pairing options than wine.
Beer and food parings are serious business. In fact, next month during Seattle Beer Week, you’re sure to find some pretty amazing craft beer pairing dinners/events. Not all pairings have to be so serious though. Perhaps you’ve read one of the recent articles about pairing craft beers with Girl Scout cookies? It’s in that vein that Lowercase Brewing Company, along with their sister company Side Hustle Coffee & Doughnuts, are pleased to announce the return of their Doughnuts and Beer pairing event this Wednesday, April 18th from 6-9 pm.
“Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?” – Homer Simpson
Good question, Homer. Good question. I’m not sure what their true limitations are. Right now, however, all you should care about is one thing doughnuts can do quite well and that’s pair with beer. Gluten intollerants beware! Coming up tomorrow, February 28th from 6 – 9 pm, Lowercase Brewing Company is teaming up with their own side business, Side-Hustle Coffee & Doughnuts, to bring you an evening of doughnuts paired with beer.
Last night my wife and I were fortunate to attend a special beer-pairing dinner at Urbane, located in the Hyatt hotel at Olive 8 in downtown Seattle. It was a preview of a few of the new dishes Urbane will be adding to their Fall menu, all expertly paired with beers from Seattle’s own multi-award-winning (over 30 awards received so far in 2017 alone) Reuben’s Brews, one of the fastest growing breweries in Washington State with production set to increase by more than 50% this year over 2016.
The dinner was hosted by Urbane’s Executive Chef, Brian Pusztai and Reuben’s Brews was represented by brewery rep, Conrad Hermosillo. Brian, Conrad and a few other members of the Urbane chef’s team greeted us upon our arrival and we prepared ourselves for a 3-course tasting menu by getting to know each other a bit while snacking on a very tasty cheese and charcuterie board.
That chill in the air is just starting to fade and the official start of Spring is just 5 days away, on March 20th. To mark the occasion, Beardslee Public House in Bothell has decided to host a Spring Solstice Brewer’s Dinner next Tuesday, March 21st.
This special dinner will be comprised of 4 distinct courses, plus a dessert course and each course, including dessert, will be paired with a different Beardslee beer. Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase the limited bottling of their Barleywine 2-packs at a discounted price.
Last Friday, December 2nd, my wife and I attended a beer tasting dinner cruise courtesy of Waterways Cruises And Events, featuring beers from Pike Brewing Company. This is the cruise I told you about just last month, which took us around Lake Union and Lake Washington as we enjoyed 5 different Pike Brewing Company beers and enjoyed a delicious, 4-course dinner.
Apart from a few somewhat loud and annoying shipmates at the next table and a small technical difficulty involving the last beer of the evening, we had a great meal and a wonderful time. As a special bonus that we weren’t expecting, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, founders of Pike Brewing Company, were in attendance on the cruise (as well Pike’s Jon Gores). Charles took the time to visit each and every table, and spoke to us all at length about his passion for beer, Pike Brewing Company and the beers we would be enjoying during the cruise.
In years past, whenever people thought of a ‘pairing’ dinner, wine was usually the beverage that came to mind. Beer was often relegated to a lower class; deemed only fit to be paired with fare as hot dogs and pizza. Not that there aren’t some great beer and hot dog as well as beer and pizza pairings out there, but I’m glad to see the trend of thinking of beer as a ‘lower class’ beverage is finally changing.
These days, beer pairing dinners are popping up everywhere and with good reason. The incredible diversity of beer styles and flavors along with the inspired creativity from many of today’s chefs are allowing some great collaborations that produce some truly unique and delicious pairings.