I read an interesting article today from the UK’s The Independent about how beer is starting to outpace wine in the world of fine dining. According to author Will Coldwell, Michelin star restaurants are now creating beer pairings to their exquisite tasting menus, rather than the traditional vino. The article also highlights how you (yes you!) can pick the best beers to pair with specific types of food, using what is called the “Three Cs”. These are:
Compliment: Choosing a beer that has a similar flavor to the food so the tastes blend (ex: a rich stout and a chocolatey desert)
Contrasting: Pick a beer so removed from the flavors in the food that both distinctly stand out (ex: a sharp lager with BBQ)
Cutting: Picking a type of beer that’s so strong it “cuts” through the flavors of the food (ex: a hoppy IPA with a fatty pork)
I think its fantastic that beer is finally getting some fancy notoriety. Not because I care about the deep, fantastic history of the stuff, but because, quite frankly I hate wine. I’ve never understood why people shell out so much cash for something that, at best, tastes like bitter cough syrup somebody spit in.
Exception: I will drink Arbor Mist, but that is essentially an alcohol-infused Capri Sun (seriously, the third ingredient is high fructose corn syrup).
Need more proof that beer is better than wine, other than my discerning and highly accurate taste buds? Here’s a handy list I made to prove I’m always right.
Beer is cheaper: while its true that some beers can cost up to $100/ six-pack, on the whole it’s a much more cost-effective way to get your buzz on. For $13 dollars, you can get yourself a high quality six-pack of your best local brew, or a wine so shitty that it’s illegal in France.
Beer doesn’t turn your mouth purple: All the fun of getting drunk, without looking like a gel pen exploded in your mouth
At no point do people step on any beer ingredient with their bare feet
Beer can be used in a variety of social settings: Going on a first date? Watching the game with your buddies? Weeping silently in your bathtub? Beer is the perfect complement to any of these situations! The great thing about the craft beer boom is that is has elevated the stuff from “this will get me drunk enough to yell at NASCAR on TV” to “this is the perfect complement to my endive salad with watercress”.
So next time you’re at a fancy restaurant (and I know that must happen all the time) see if they have a beer pairing menu or suggestions on which beers would compliment your order. If they look at you like you’re crazy, scoff snootily in their faces and say “clearly you are behind the times”.
If all goes to plan, the waiter might cry.