Last week I wrote about cooking with beer, so today it seems only fair to point to Josh Rubin of the Toronto Star on pairing food with beer with Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver, who "enjoys going toe-to-toe with sommeliers when it comes to food pairings. Cheese is a favourite tool for his battles, but he has also used stews, cassoulet, seafood and dessert."I've had some Iron Chef-style events where I'll be matching foods with beer, and the sommelier will be matching the same foods with wine," says Oliver. "But beer against wine is like fighting someone with one hand tied behind their back. I haven't lost yet, and the people in the audience doing the judging are usually wine people or friends of the sommelier." You could say no one's more qualified to speak on the subject than Oliver, who's written a book about it titled The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food.
It's also no coincidence that this story is from the Toronto Star—the city has a restaurant called the Beerbistro, where not only are 80% of menu items cooked with beer, but there is a "suggested beer pairing with every menu item along with a separate beer menu that includes product backgrounds, explanations of beer styles, and beer tasting notes, assists diners in exploring our large and carefully-researched selection of beers." They have twenty beers on tap, hundreds in bottles, and will recommend beer pairings to your tastes beyond what's on the menus. Chowhounders speak well of their food!