Journalist Laurie Rice for the Craft Beer site interviewed American brewers about their favorite combinations of food and beer.
A well brewed beer from a small craft brewery is fine on its own, but if you combine it with the right food, it can change the impression from the food and beer in a completely unexpected way. We asked brewers from across the country to share their favorite combinations of craft beer with food.
Pastoral Farmhouse Ale + Pad Thai
Danny McMahon, a leading brewer for Door County Brewing Co.
“We cook a lot of Belgian varieties, and this style goes well with food,” says Danny McMahon of Door County Brewing Co in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin. He began to brew beer in college and eventually entered the school of brewers. When his family had the opportunity to open a brewery in Beilis Harbor, he was a great fit for the post of a leading brewer.
Danny McMahon says that while living in rural areas they did not have access to a wide range of ingredients for Asian dishes. But there is one dish of Asian cuisine that is often made in his family, and it is him who loves to eat his own Pastoral Farmhouse Ale. “The Belgian seasons have a dry, spicy character, without attacking you with 50 different flavors,” says Danny. This allows aromas and spices of dishes such as Pad Thai to go well with the juiciness and aromas of seasonons.
Yearling American Wild Ale + Lamb Meat
Ting Soo, co-founder of Eagle Rock Brewery
“I grew up in the family of restaurateurs, so, in fact, I was a taster in our team,” said Eagle Rock Brewery co-founder Ting Soo. This team, besides Ting herself, includes her husband and father-in-law, who were home brewers, and then opened a brewery in Los Angeles. Ting is also the founder of the Women’s Beer Forum, an educational forum that meets once a month and has up to 70 participants. “We are interested in combining beer with food,” she says, adding that the recent topic of the forum was the combination of beer with baking.
Ting’s favorite combination is American Wild Ale Yearling with lamb meat. “The aroma of wild ale goes well with the smell of game meat,” she says. This is the balance of the rich taste of meat and the acidity of wild ale.
Cream of the Crop Cream Ale + East Carolina BBQ
Jason Alexander, co-founder and brewer of Free Range Brewing
When we ask Jason Alexander about his favorite combination of food with beer, he immediately says: “Barbecue from East Carolina. Pork with coal smoke and vinegar-based sauce. No options.
Cream of the Crop Cream Ale, brewed with malted corn from North Carolina, has an invigorating sweetness that balances the acidity of the pork. Alexander adds: “Barbeque is also served with corn bread or hashappappi, which also complement the aroma of beer.”
But this combination is equally connected not only with tastes, but also with the company. “This is not just food, but food in the circle of people with whom you love being together,” says Jason.
Rampo Red Rye Ale + Banana Pudding
Bailey Spalding, CEO and Brewmaster, Jackalope Brewing Co.
Jackalope Brewery in Nashville was created because of the love of brewer Bailey Spalding for beer. She describes it as “a passion for creativity and the perfect combination of art and science,” and also adds: “Being an active part of the brewing community is an interesting way to spend time.”
According to Bailey, one of their main varieties is Rampo Red Rye Ale. She describes him as an Irish red ale with some spice from rye. Her favorite combination for this beer is banana pudding. “This variety has a good malt base. Rye gives it a spicy aftertaste, ”Spalding tells about beer. It is these qualities that balance the sweet creaminess of the dessert.
Stoup’s Robust Porter + Ribs
Robin Schumacher, co-founder and brewer Stoup Brewing
Robin Schumacher finds inspiration in the camaraderie, typical of the brewing community, and in the joy of uniting the energy of living organisms, creating a drink that brings people happiness. “Even before I tried craft beer, I liked to drink beer with friends at parties, by the fire and in noisy bars,” said the brewer and a certified expert Cicerone.
What about her favorite combination of food and beer? “So many tasty options! Don’t make me choose! ”Robin jokes. She says that in Seattle there is a large Vietnamese community, and her wife is Vietnamese, which makes Vietnamese cuisine her favorite. Therefore, Vietnamese ribs with Stoup Brewing Robust Porter are a favorite combination. Robin explains: “The ribs are slightly sweet, and the porter’s maltiness is complemented by dark caramelized sugar. We use several types of roasted malt in our porter, so roasted beef and roasted malt complement each other well. Burnt malt also contrasts well with the saturation of beef tallow. ”
Evocation Saison + grilled fish and seafood
Stef Cope, founder and brewer of CraftHaus Brewery
A 12-month US study tour of the crafting scene by Stef Cope laid the foundation for the beer offered by CraftHaus Brewery in Las Vegas. “We identified the key elements of our favorite breweries, which we decided to emulate. We specialize in Belgian and IPA styles, ”says Steph.
Evocation Saison is one of these Belgian varieties. Most of all he likes it with grilled or boiled fish and seafood. “Our seasons have subtle notes of lemon, pepper and spices. It is dry and carbonated, so it is good when combined with seafood, helping to balance the salinity or oiliness of the food. ” In addition to the combination of beer with fish, she sometimes cooks fish with beer. “I also like to boil the fish in the seasons, and use the rest of the broth to make the sauce,” says Stef.
Pale Lager + Raw Fish
Harvey Kenney, lead brewer Great Raft Brewing
A career that began in biotechnology eventually led Harvey Kenney to brewing. The path led him from California to Turkey, and he currently works in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he is the leading brewer of Great Raft Brewing. “Our inspiration is based on what we want to drink. Hopped lagers or odorous sezony. We cook what we love to drink, ”says Kenny.
His choice is pale lager with raw fish. “The clean, refreshing character of a good lager goes well with the delicate taste of raw fish dishes such as poke salad or sashimi. Both are ideal for showing excellent, but not intense taste, ”he explains. He also adds that lager goes well with salads based on onion or vinegar, as well as fried onions.
Lunch ipa + fruit cake
Cole Corbin, director of brewing at Maine Beer Company
For many, craft brewing is a second career, but few were an aerospace engineer before becoming a brewer. This was the way of Cole Corbin, who moved from home brewing to professional brewing, and as a result became the brewing director at Maine in Freeport. “What attracts me to brewing is that it is the perfect balance between science and art. I use creativity to create recipes with unique flavor combinations, as well as my scientific and engineering experience to consider the ingredients during the development of recipes. ”
Corbin’s perfect combination is the Lunch IPA from the Maine Beer Company and the passion fruit pie from the Sur Lie restaurant in Portland, Maine. “This combination was so special and memorable for me because I had never eaten dessert with IPA before,” says Corbin. Explaining how beer and dessert complemented each other, he said: “The aroma and taste of tropical fruits in our Lunch IPA are easily combined with the bright smell of fruit pie. Each of them increases the intensity of the other. ”
The Goat’s Obsession Belgian-Style India Dark Ale + Duck Stew with Maple Syrup and Orange Frosting
Katie Davis, Founder, Executive Director and Brewmaster Abbey of the Holy Goats
“I met a Belgian beer and fell in love,” says Katie Davis, talking about her journey through the world of craft. Before opening the brewery, she took up education to better understand the business side of brewing, and spent time improving her beer, focusing on its combination with food.
Her favorite food is combined with their Belgian-style India Dark Ale, which she describes as hopped Belgian Dark Strong. “I combine it with braised duck with maple syrup and orange glaze. Duck saturation is balanced by the bitterness of the hops, and the malt background of the beer reveals smoky notes of duck meat, ”says Davis.
Yodo Café con Leche Imperial Porter + Italian Piave Cheese
Randy Mosher, active shareholder 5 Rabbit Cervecería
Randy Mosher, an active member of the 5 Rabbit Cervecería team in Bedford Park, Illinois, says that the brewery considers it its vocation to represent the brewing culture of Latin America. “We tied our first three varieties with certain types of food,” says Mosher. As an example, he explains that 5 Lizard, vitbir with passion fruit is a creamy, acidic, fruit beer, with an unusual shade that gives it a lime skin, which makes it the perfect match for ceviche and other seafood and vegetable dishes.
However, when it comes to his favorite combination of beer with food, Mosher says about cheese: “I like the Yodo Café con Leche Imperial Porter with the Italian Piave.” He explains that it is a hard cheese, similar to Parmesan, but a bit rounder and sweeter. “It gives it elasticity and a shade of salted caramel, with a hint of burnt coffee and dessert dulce de leche, with milk and chocolate notes. Since the beer is quite strong, there is enough alcohol and carbonation in it to balance the fat content of the food, ”says Mosher.