Transcript of Video
(0:10) I love good beer and food, especially when they work together to create something new, something exciting, something...better. I love how the flavors, the aromas, the experience has a way of transporting us to another place, in another time. I love how the simple act of preparing a meal for someone is life-giving. Both in the literal sense, but also in a way that transcends. There’s a bit of magic that happens in the intersection of good beer, good food, good music, good conversation. I want to show everyone how to conjure this magic.
(0:47) I’m Jeremy Storton. I’m a certified cicerone and the host of the “Good Beer Matters Podcast”. And I have partnered with BreweryDB to bring you “A Taste of Brew Knowledge.” (0:58) “A Taste of Brew Knowledge” is a series of videos to help you cook and pair great beer with excellent food. In this first video, we’re going to talk about the ABC’s of how to synergize with both. The ABC’s of pairing food and beer together are not absolute rules. They’re guidelines, or tools, that will help you thoughtfully pair the two together in ways that will delight your guests.
(1:20) “A” is for “align”. First thing, you’ve got to align your intensities. I’m talking about flavor impact. A meaty stew will dominate a delicate pilsner. A barley wine will trample over a summer salad. But an IPA and blue cheese, a pale and a burger, pastrami, and cream stout, or a kolsch and tacos...these are perfect.
(1:43)“B” is for “bridging”. The saying goes, “That which grows together goes together.” Bridge similar flavors together between the dishes to form a link. A multi English bitter with nodes of caramel will link the sweet brown flavors of fish and chips, or the butterscotch flavor of aged cheddar. A word of warning here, like flavors, can sometimes create a cancelation effect. Too much sweet chocolate flavor in a stout can cancel the sweet chocolate in the cake and vice versa. When this happens, all that’s left is the bitterness of the chocolate and the acrid rostiness of the beer. I suggest you taste it first to make sure.
(2:19)“C” is for “Contrast”. People say opposites attract and this is definitely true with flavor. If a food is lacking an aspect of flavor that beer can feel that role to bring balance and cohesion to the meal. My favorite examples are the acidity and bitterness of an IPA or saison with brie cheese. Another is the spicy citrus flavor of ceviche. It lacks the round sweetness and the soft bitterness that only a good Mexican lager can provide.
(2:46) “C” is also for “cut”. If you’ve ever eaten something that is way too spicy and then found relief in something that is fatty, like cream or an acid like citrus and tomatoes, then you’ve experienced “cutting”. Opposite flavors can cut each other back in really wonderful ways. Beer works this way too. The same spicy dish is wonderful with a multi bitter. That fatty buttery cheese is better with the acid and bitterness of a double IPA. That bitter, boozing acrid stout we talked about a minute ago...maybe a sweet German chocolate cake is really what it needs after all.
(3:20) And, “C” is for “cleanse”. Ever fall in love with a new song, only to grow sick of it as it overplays on the radio for months? Same sort of thing happens with flavor. It’s called “palate fatigue” and it’s very real. The solution: take a break and come back to it when you're fresh. Beer does this through its acidity, its bitterness, and its carbonation. These all cleanse your palate in between bites so that every subsequent bite tastes just like the first.
(3:49) “S” is for “seek a professional”. If you aren't sure what combinations work together, then take advantage of the free resources you have available to you. Go talk to people behind the counter of your better grocery stores, go talk to brewers, chefs, cheesemongers, cicerones in your community. These people tend to be very knowledgeable about flavor and pairings.
(4:08) And don’t forget, there are a lot of good books out there that offer knowledge, tips, advice, and recipes.
(4:16) These are all great, but nothing beats being mindful and tasting through these guidelines for yourself.
(4:22) Good luck and have fun.
( 4:24) And remember, there’s a world of craft and culture found in every beer. Your glass awaits.