What about beer?

Discussion in 'Pairing Food and Wine' started by greg, Sep 11, 2000.

  1. greg

    greg

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    I'm curious about whether anybody's open to discussing beer in this forum. Just stopped by the kitchen of the last chef I worked for, and he's got a beer tasting dinner coming up sponsored by Leinenkugel. His sous showed me some things he'd found on-line regarding beer pairings that were pretty sketchy. For example, it said that rauchbier (beer brewed with smoked barley) should be paired with smoked foods. I've had rauchbier at work, and it would be over-the-top to pair smoked beer with smoked food, in my opinion. I only know the basics of pairing wine and food; are there any correlations between pairing wines and pairing beer?
     
  2. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    I would certainly think so....flavor is flavor is flavor no matter what your drinking and eating. We have a restaurant owned by a brewery that serves many full 4-5 course dinners with beer...triple bocks with dessert...I dig up some of their menus.
    Too much smoke is not pleasant..(surgeon general has warnings on that)
    I love framboise Lambic not sure where that falls in the beverage catagories but there is a new place that has it on tap and serves it with chocolate dessert (ohhhh yeah!)
     
  3. greg

    greg

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    Lambics are Belgian ales fermented with wild yeast. Try the cherry and strawberry; also very good.
    What I'm trying to figure out, though, is if there are any general guidelines to pair beer with food (i.e. serving a hearty, robust wine with NY strip)?
     
  4. cape chef

    cape chef

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    i am not an expert on this topic,but I would say that the taste profile of beer would fall into the same catagory as wine. When it comes to understanding the way the brewer sees his/her beer. As in anything we try to match with our meals it's a study of knowlege.what do you taste when you drink a top fermented wild yeast ale? is it different than a lager? Yes of course it is. same as wine, try,experement and try again.In regards to what Greg says about lambecs, I agree that in my opinion the best beers in the world to match with food is the belguim ales,top fermented,wild yeast and ageworthy. as we enter fall and turn to slow roasting and deep braising, pour a pint of affligem or duvel, sit back and relax and enjoy
     
  5. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    I worked in an upscale brewery for about a year and the entire menu revolved around beer. It was an extremely cool experience, since a majority of my cooking prior to that was always standard fare that would be paired with wine. On more than one occasion we did some beer dinners which were actually pretty well recieved. The really great thing about it was that we would work directly with the brewer in developing the beers and the food together (very cool).

    The idea of a smoked beer with a smoked food item is overkill. Plus the smoke flavor is going to be so strong that it will be tough to bring on the next course without having that smoke flavor still linger. When I think of a beer or wine dinner menu I think of courses that flow into one another. This sounds like too much of an abrupt transition. The idea of a smoked beer sounds like it might go well with a good cigar after the meal [​IMG] and possibly with a cheese course.
     
  6. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    OK guys what woods would you use to smoke beer with? I'm having a hard time figuring this one out. I've actually heard of a brewmaster throwing wood chips in a batch but smoking it.???
     
  7. greg

    greg

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    The barley (or whatever grain is used) is smoked; otherwise I'm pretty sure the brewing method is the same. The type of wood is pretty much up to the brewmaster. Makes for a very interesting beer, don't think I could drink more than one at a time, though. The brand we carry is called Aecht Schenkerla Rauchbier.

    [This message has been edited by Greg (edited September 13, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by Greg (edited September 13, 2000).]
     
  8. isa

    isa

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    For food to pair with beer I think one should look at the cuisine of Belgium and Germany. Those country have the highest consumption of beer per person and their respective cuisine are full of recipes that are served with or made with beer. Think only of bratwurst and some mussel dish.


    Sisi
     
  9. live_to_cook

    live_to_cook

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    As far as using rauschbier (sp? the smoky beer) in cooking, I've enjoyed sirloin tips marinated in rauschbier at Smithwick's, a little bar in Lowell, Mass. I used to frequent. Excellent with beef. But I sure wouldn't want to smoke the meat too... too much too strong no thanks.
     
  10. greg

    greg

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    Hmmm. I think I see a smoked beer beef stew in my specials board's near future. Thanks for the idea!
     
  11. nutcakes

    nutcakes

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  12. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I brew a killer Sweet Smoked Stout. To get the smoke flavor I smoke all my barleys. It gives it a nice light smokiness to it.

    Try raw oysters with a very light, effervesent beer with citrus flavors.

    Game with darker, maltier beers especially german style beers.

    Follow the same progression as with wine: lighter beers first followed heavier, darker beers.

    Although there are many factors that influence what beers pair well with what foods the two most important factors with beer are the bitterness (from hops) and the sweetness (from malt). Use these as your beginning points when experimenting with pairings.
     
  13. greg

    greg

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    Thanks for all the opinions and info. This should help my former chef. Last time I talked to him, he was going to design the menu around just one of the Leinenkugel beers; he was surprised by my idea of pairing the beer to the food! One of those rare occasions when the master learns from the student.