Just got back from a "working lunch" for the media. What did you have for lunch? I had ancho-chocolate marinated brisket with Mountain Sun Dry Irish Stout, followed by a little Dale's Pale Ale and sorbet palate cleanser, and brought home by Great Divide's Oak-Aged Yeti. I want the perfect stout to give me the same thing as a perfect bitter chocolate. Great Divide's American-Style Imperial Stout is super robust on impact--toasty, roasty, malted goodness--that settles down to a creamy, walnut skin-like finish.
The food all came from recipes in the new book, The Best of American Beer & Food by Lucy Saunders. Ms. Saunders is a respected author who got cheers from the press when she said of her book, "There's no buffalo wings. There's no brats, and there's no chili recipe in this book." To which she quickly added, "I already wrote that book."
After lunch Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Marnie Gold of the French Culinary Institute talked about wine versus beer, in regards to food. Well, Marnie talked and took us through different flavor experiences to show how it changed the flavors of a few wines and beers. They've done this Beer V. Wine smackdown a few times over the years, and they're doing it at the festival. It's a great shtick that in the end does both beverages a solid. Expect a follow up post on this topic. As a former bartender and sommelier and have some strong opinions about it.
Sam is a personality to say the least, but there's no denying I'd rather drink some of his "extreme" beers rather than wine with certain foods, and especially with cheese. In under two minutes, he makes beer's case: