Beer – It’s What’s for Dinner

For years, choosing beer to go with food meant getting some cold Budweiser to go with pizza or bratwurst.  With the explosion of varieties and brands over the past 20 years, though, the opportunities to choose a beer that enhances the pleasure of the meal have grown far beyond what was even imaginable 20 years ago.

One great way to explore the possibilities is to attend one of the “beer meals” offered by restaurants and breweries.  Boulevard Brewery hosts a series of Beer Lunches with some of the top chefs in the region.  (I may never forgive myself for missing the Blue Stem lunch.)  Old Chicago is hosting a dinner on May 18 featuring this impressive menu (make reservations by May 17 by calling 913-764-9850)

First Course Boulevard Pilsner
Food Pairing Fruit and cheese plate, a mixed plate with smoked and spicy cheese paired with grapes, apples and pears.

Second Course Boulevard Tank 7
Food Pairing Tank 7 marinated chicken brochettes with lemon aioli

Third Course Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat
Food Pairing Blackened shrimp with Thai slaw on smoked gouda croutons.

Fourth Course Boulevard Bully Porter
Food Pairing Roasted pork loin with bully porter jus, served with jalapeno corn cakes with apple chutney

Fifth Course Boulevard Smokestack Long Strange Tripel
Food Pairing Tripel Mousse with Banana Bread

That same night, in honor of American Craft Brew Week, 75th Street Brewery is hosting an amazing lineup of food and beers for $45 – call 816.523.4677 to make reservations.  Here’s their menu for the evening:

My only hesitation in talking about these sophisticated beer dinners is the intimidation factor.  You do NOT need to be a beer expert to pair food with beer.  The key is quality – great beer will always match perfectly with great food.  Once you get those two together, the rest is just playing around with the possibilities.  If you’re not sure where to start, get yourself some Odell 90 Shilling – it goes with everything.

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One Response to “Beer – It’s What’s for Dinner”

  1. Nuke says:

    I haven’t done one of these dinners, as much of the food doesn’t sound like my cup o tea (or pint of beer if you will). I do however enjoy reading the reviews and seeing how the whole thing works for people.

    Oh and I can’t remember who recommended it to me, but I find the 90 Shilling to be a tasty versatile beer myself. It may not be right for everything, but I have liked it with everything I have paired ti with to this point.

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