Beer and food pairing: 3 upcoming events

Below, we have some information about upcoming beer-food pairing events. I’d like to start off by telling you why the Washington Beer Blog is talking about food.

Beer’s place at the table

Historically, beer gets an inglorious seat at the kid’s table. Beer teeters on a folding chair and eats at a repurposed card table in the family room, wiping its chin with a paper napkin and listening to the grown-ups laugh politely in the other room.

Through rosé-colored glasses, the self-proclaimed gastronomically elite have long seen beer drinkers as tailgating yahoos swilling suds paired thoughtlessly with greasy pub grub. For too long foodies considered beer to be little more than a utensil used to wash down pizza or fish and chips.

The times they are a changin’

Sometimes we need to slow down and remember that this craft beer thing is still pretty new. Seriously, beer and food pairing in America did not have the opportunity to exist when the best beer you could buy at the grocery store was Lowenbrau. A sorrowful time to be sure, but it wasn’t that long ago.

Today’s enormous selection of craft beer has improved beer’s place in the gastronomic universe and the modern chef now embraces beer. It provides chefs with inspiration, taking their culinary artistry in new directions. Brewmaster dinners and other food-beer pairing events have become all the rage these days.

Yes, chefs are now excited about beer, foodies and beer geeks are now joined arm-in-arm, and beer no longer sits at the kiddy table.

And so, the Washington Beer Blog has resolved to share more information about food-beer pairing events. We will tell you about more of them, we will attend more of them, and we will even try to instigate some of them.

Three upcoming beer-food events

Brewmasters Dinner with Three Skulls Brewing
McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant
700 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 115
Bellevue, WA 98004

Monday, March 9th, 6:00 p.m.
$45 per person
Reservations: (425) 454-2606

For the past 11 years McCormick and Schmick’s has been hosting Brewmaster dinners. They were early adopters of the idea. Alecia Walton, Sous Chef at McCormick and Schmick’s, tells us that she takes great pride in what she puts together for these events. “I truly enjoy this tradition at our restaurant,” she says. “I am so proud of the food I create to pair with the beers. I use mostly organic food and put a lot of love and care into each dish.”

Here is just one of the five courses that sound particularly delicious to me: spice-rubbed lamb chop atop white bean cassoulet, paired with Three Skulls Hop the Plank IPA.

This will be a five course pairing dinner, featuring fresh, seasonal food. You should call and make reservations. The event takes place in the restaurant’s Cypress Room so space is limited.

Brewmaster’s Dinner with Lazy Boy Brewing and Naked City Brewery
Alderbrook Resort and Spa
7101 Washington 106
South Shore, WA 98592

Saturday, March 12th
6:30 p.m.
$59 per person
Reservations: (360) 898 5500

Located on the southern end of Hood Canal, 40 minutes west of Bremerton, Alderbrook Resort and Spa offers a peaceful and easy-to-reach getaway. In fact Evening Magazine viewers chose it as their favorite for both 2009 and 2010. You can come out for just the dinner or you can arrange to stay the night.

The meal includes five courses from Executive Chef Tristan Holst, ranging from battered Scottish salmon to espresso rubbed flank steak. Don Webb (Naked City) and Shawn Loring (Lazy Boy) will be there to share information about the beers.

Here’s an example of just one of the courses: Lazy Boy Belgian Golden paired with pasta arrabbiata with grilled prawn skewer and a citrus gremolata.

Tom Douglas’ St. Patrick’s Day Beer Blast
Palace Ballroom
2100 5th Ave
Seattle WA 98121

Thursday, March 17th
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
$30 advance, $35 door
Tickets online

While the drunken hordes fight over Guinness at the local Irish pub, you can do something a bit more civilized. This is the third annual St. Patrick’s Day Beer Blast hosted by local celeb chef Tom Douglas. We do not have all the details on this one yet, but we have attended other Tom Douglas beer events at the Palace Ballroom and have never been disappointed. Seriously, confident that it will be good.

The event features eight local breweries pouring their Irish-style beers paired with “pub bites” provided by Douglas’ chefs. In addition to beer and food, there will also be a performance by the Seattle Firefighter Pipes and Drums team.


  1. Ray’s Boathouse is doing one featuring some little guys; Valholl, NW Peaks, Fremont, Bellevue, and so on. But I think it may be sold out by now.

  2. Russell, yes those events happen at least a couple times a year at Ray’s. Maybe quarterly? Usually they feature three or four of the newer breweries. We have attended a couple of those events and the food, as well as the pairings, are always amazing. Sadly, they sell out instantly. The first time we went, it was only because we were on a waiting list and someone canceled.

  3. Apparently, I should favor forgiveness over permission and reserve for four at the next Ray’s Brewmaster’s dinner, then see if you + Kim actually want to do it! Next time, perhaps?

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