For years restaurant have made pairing suggestions of wine that compliments their food. But in the last few years, as craft beer has exploded across the country, more and more eateries are realizing that beer may actually be more food-friendly that wine. There are a couple of ways to go about pairing, complementary or contrasting flavors? The first would be like pairing a spicy Thai dish with a spicy pale ale. The opposite approach suggests that contrasting flavors are pleasing in a ying-yang sort of way: A dry, bitter stout classically pairs with oysters, perhaps “cutting through” the sweetness of the shellfish. Sweet and salty always work wonders. Beer experts advocate stronger and fruitier flavors when dining on spicy items: ales, Hefeweizens, and wheat beers in particular. Beer and pizza are a classic pairing but you’ll want a brew that stands up to the acids in the tomato and cut through the fatty cheese but not overwhelm the dish. Stouts and porters are too heavy. Wheat beers might be a little light or fruity. Ales, pilsners, and lagers are your best bet: Hops stand up to the cheese, while bubbles cleanse the palate.
But don’t take our word for it, do your own research this Saturday at AleFeast, held from 4-7pm at the Masonic Center. You’ll have the choice of up to 70 beers, to pair with food samples from about a dozen local restaurants. Decide for yourself what goes best with an imperial stout (to me that’s chocolate). Or if you’re a pale ale fan, you maybe decide it goes with everything. Experiment and have fun. There are no wrong pairings.
Tickets are $50 in advance and can be bought online or at at either Arrow Wine Belmont Party Supply, Fifth Street Brew Pub, Mudlick Taphouse and Warped Wing. Live entertainment will be provided by Nick Mitchell and AleFeast will also include a silent auction with beer memorabilia. In addition, guests will be able to purchase apparel and beer glassware.
Here’s what you can expect to find at Ale Feast:
Pot Roast crostini – Slow roasted pot roast with sauteed onion & carrot with white cheddar finished with a garlic herb aioli served on French baguette
Table 8: El Meson
Table 10: Brock Masterson’s
Table 11: Beer & Wine
Table 13: Spent Grain Grille