Food and wine pairing has long been a passionate pursuit of the culinary world. What goes better with a mild, nutty Edam cheese than a good Pinot Noir? Or with a thick filet mignon than a Cabernet Sauvignon, its harsh tannins balanced out by the proteins of the meat?
But food and beer pairing has long been ignored. With as many varieties and styles of beer as there are wine, pairing ales and stouts with dishes is a fascinating but underappreciated art.
Did you know that nothing complements a strong blue cheese like a creamy Irish dry stout such as Guinness? Or that a batch of spicy boiled crawfish will be immensely better alongside a cold bitter ale like Sierra Nevada's Best Bitter?
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SHOW ME HOW
If you've been wanting to experiment with food and beer pairing but haven't had the right opportunity, then the folks at Saint Arnold and Brenner's Steakhouse have an evening planned just for you on April 23rd.
Brenner's will be offering a seven-course menu, each course of which will be either paired with or created with a Saint Arnold beer. The menu was created by Brenner's executive chef, Michael Scott Castell, a beer connoisseur who served the entire Saint Arnold's line of beers at his previous restaurant, Bistro Toulouse, where he used to roast bratwurst with Shiner Bock.
Sample courses include a marinated fiddlehead fern salad with "Amber Ale" vinegar and local tomatoes served with Amber Ale and salmon, scallop and shrimp sausage medallions with mushroom "Texas Wheat" fume and roasted baby fennel bulbs served with Texas Wheat. And while desserts can also be paired quite nicely with beer -- such as a dark oatmeal stout served with chocolate mousse -- the dessert course is a whimsical take on a classic root beer float: Saint Arnold's pure cane syrup root beer with Blue Bell ice cream and vanilla Stoli.
Unlike most pairing menus, this is not a straightforward group dinner. You can make reservations beginning from 5:00 p.m. on April 23rd. The seven-course dinner (with pairings) is $75 per person, which is considerably less than you'd pay for a wine pairing dinner. Reservations can be made by calling Brenner's at 713-465-2901.