Let’s face it: the world of beer has changed! Today, many breweries are veering far from the old standards and creating craft beers which have all the nuances of fine wine. I’ve seen (and tasted) such concoctions as green tea IPA’s, chipotle chocolate stouts and everything in between.
With this evolution and experimentation, one can understand why pairing beer with tasting menus is also valid and oftentimes more interesting than wine.
Don’t get me wrong, I love wine . . . I love pairing food and wine; however, the wide variety of hops and different combinations of toasted malts give beer a grassy freshness that interacts with food on many different levels.
Further, beer is usually not as high in alcohol as wine. Alcohol can sometimes numb the palate, making it more difficult to detect some of the more finite tasting notes.
With all this said, I have decided to pair a tasting menu with the beers from Tröegs brewery in Hershey, PA. This brewery produces a wide variety of beers which range from fruity and loaded with citrus all the way to chocolatey with a finish of burnt caramel.
I look at each of these beers almost as ingredients when I constructed this tasting menu so one is constantly asking, “Is this beer a supplement to the food, or is the food a supplement to the beer?”
Each one of these beers is drastically different, and can be enjoyed by seasoned craft beer drinkers or someone who is tasting these styles of beers for the first time. Either way, this is an event not to be missed!