This morning I was listening to NPR’s weekend edition and there was a story on trends in food for 2010. The first mentioned item was that “beer is the new wine.” You’ve probably noticed beer pairings listed on menus and beer events in your favorite local restaurants. What about taking it one step further and going out on a culinary limb and offering a beer tasting at your wedding or event?
According to Philip Prifold III, a chef instructor with The Art Institute of Washington, “We usually don’t think of beer as being a ‘traditional’ pairing for fine foods because the palate strength of beer can be so pronounced in flavor, it sometimes masks elements or suppresses food flavors, especially in foods with gentle nuances.”
Beer has gotten surprisingly popular during the past few years and it’s not uncommon for our local Boulder restaurant, the Kitchen to offer beer pairing events as well as an extensive beer menu. There is even a Beer Director on staff!
So how do you create a beer tasting for your wedding or event? First start by working with a caterer or venue that is open to the idea. Work with them on a menu that would be complimentary to your style, your guests taste and what would make sense paired with beer. Next, decide on a style for the flow for the evening – formal or informal. You could provide beers paired with each course or offer stations of food with suggested beers listed at the stations. Beer pairing suggestions could be listed for each course on the menu at each table so guests could choose if they would even like to go the beer pairing route. There are many options to consider and no wrong way to do it. Most likely your guests will be thrilled for the opportunity to try something new!
Lastly, try incorporating beer tastings or pairings at your rehearsal dinner. A few years ago, we coordinated the rehearsal dinner and wedding of one of the marketing directors at Coors Brewing. For their rehearsal dinner they held an outdoor, BBQ style dinner and offered several selections of Colorado Micro brews on tap and in the bottle for their guests to try throughout the evening. Not only did it represent part of the couples’ style and personality, it was a fun and unique way to expose their guests to the fabulous selection of beers we have locally.
Check out these online resources for beer pairings.