Monday, September 14, 2009

Beer Pairing Class: Craig & Bruce

The beer pairing class I took has to be one of the most interesting classes I have ever had the chance to attend. I learned a lot, such s beer has essential vitamins in the yeast, the difference between session beer, Belgian style and barrel aging and all of the marvelous things you can make with beer.

Chef Bruce Paton and Craig Wathen of City Beer Store in SF were our guides through the world of beer. I am still a novice, so you can only imagine…I took two pages of notes! Since then, I had had the chance to try a few more really fantastic brews and I heartily recommend if you are in the Bay Area, you pop over to the Lake Chalet for the Regatta Red, the best red ale I have ever had the pleasure of trying.

Bruce Paton, aka the Beer Chef, has been serving up beer pairing dinners at the Cathedral Hill Restaurant since 1995. I personally cannot wait to attend one. He provided some nibbles to go with our beers.

The blonde Temptation ale, from the Russian River, was paired with gorgeous prawns & ginger scallion sauce. The ale itself was a crisp, lightly foamed sparkly delight with an unusual bouquet. I am planning in using this in a savory beer cheesecake. Yeah, you heard right!

For the Pliny the Elder, hoppy with a fruit bouquet, we had a deviled egg with scallion aioli & some Hawaiian sea salt. I could taste some spice in the beer, though I couldn’t quite decipher it. Clean and sharp, this is a good double IPA.

The Rogue Mocha Porter is pretty good, but since I first tried Rogue’s Chocolate Stout straight from a fresh keg, I am ruined forever! The Coffee bouquet goes well with the light chocolaty caramel flavor. This was paired with TCHO chocolate.

I highly recommend that you stop by City Beer Store and visit the Beer Chef for a tasting!

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