It’s a trend we can sink our teeth into—food and beer pairing events. The rise in popularity of beer dinners and other beer/food pairing events is definitely one of our favorite things.
There was time when the gastronomically elite looked down their noses at beer—a time when “food and beer pairing” referred to serving a frosted glass of fizzy yellow swill alongside a pizza or a hamburger. A more sophisticated pairing might involve fish-n-chips.
Let’s be clear, the Washington Beer Blog has nothing against pizza, hamburgers or fish-n-chips, but…
As the artisan beer revolution continues to gain momentum, more and more people are beginning to recognize the value of pairing beer with fine food. We are happy to report that beer dinners and other food-beer pairing events now bespeckle the calendar.
There were so many great food and beer events over the course of the last year that we could not possibly list them all, but here are just a few highlights.
Seattle Food Week
Remember last May’s Seattle Beer Week? It almost seemed to be about food as much as it was about beer. It seemed that there was an amazing beer dinner happening each night. Cheers to that. Next year, we’re going to make more of an effort to attend those events, especially if chef Sean Paxton is coming back to town. We missed the dinner he put together at Brouwer’s Cafe. What were we thinking?
Corson Building’s Belgian Beer Dinner
Last January, as the local beer community geared up for the first-ever Washington Belgianfest, the Corson Building hosted an amazing Belgian-themed beer dinner. Our own Sully Braytor attended the event and his description is sure to set your mouth watering. This was not a dinner for the faint of heart. It was an evening of carefully crafted, well thought-out deliciousness. Big, rich, coma-inducing deliciousness. Read the review of this amazing dinner.
Rockstar Chefs and World Class Beers
In May we reported that Holly Smith was trying to open a brewpub in Seattle. Holly Smith is the nationally recognized, award-winning chef/owner of Café Juanita. She has appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and the Food Network’s Next Iron Chef. She is a rockstar in the food world. Her initial plan failed to materialize, but we know she is still out there working on this project. The fact that a chef of Holly Smith’s stature wants to open a brewpub is a beautiful thing. Read about Chef Holly Smith’s plans to open a brewpub in Seattle.
From East to West
Last spring we had the pleasure of meeting Greg Hall, head brewer at Chicago’s Goose Island Brewing. Quinn’s Pub catered the event, serving a selection of appetizers designed specifically to go along with each of the Goose Island beers served.
Further conversations with Greg revealed that the food and beer movement is thriving in Chicago. Apparently foodie guru and master chef Rick Bayless is a big fan of Goose Island Beers and actually made a beer with Greg’s brewery team—a Belgian-style blond infused with tangerine zest and green coriander. That beer, available only at Bayless’ Frontera Grill, made a prestigious top 100 list: TimeOut Chicago’s Top 100 Things We Ate.
From what Greg told us, it seems clear that Chicago is a bit ahead of us on this one. Although I love living on the left coast, I am keenly aware that certain trends—food, fashion, and so on—invariably migrate from the east to the west.
Food and Beer – It’s Front Page News
Last summer, we decided to write a post about food and beer pairing for the Fourth of July. Whereas tradition might dictate a hot dog alongside a Budweiser, we took a more sophisticated approach. It turned out to be one of our most widely read posts to date. The Seattle P-I, which syndicates our blog, promoted our Food and Beer Pairing for the Fourth of July post to the front page. That’s kind of a big deal. Beer stories rarely make the front page.
New Gastropub in Ballard
We recently learned of the opening of yet another gastropub, the Five Corner Market Bar and Kitchen in Ballard. (Official opening date of December 13.) The beer list is clearly hand-picked, if a little light on Washington beers for a homer like me, and we can only assume that their beers are meant to pair with their dishes. The Seattle Beer News posted a story about the Five Corner Market Bar and Kitchen – click here to read it.
Like I said, there were too many great food and beer events for us to mention here. These were just a few highlights.