September 22, 2016 | By Mike Raven
in the Mix had the pleasure of talking with Jennifer Glanville to discuss the trend of not only pairing a craft beer with cuisine but also cooking with it as an ingredient.
ITM: It seems like the combination of food and beer is a trend that continues to pick up steam. Why do you think that is?
Jennifer Glanville: Today, drinkers appreciate craft beer and cider in the same way they would a fine wine – enjoying the aroma, seeking specific flavor profiles, pouring properly, etc. They are expanding their palates and experimenting to see what full-flavored beers can offer as an alternative pairing to the traditional red wine. They also know that when beer is used as an ingredient in food, there are new flavor combinations that they’ve probably never tasted before.
ITM: Do you see restaurants capitalizing on this trend?
JG: Absolutely, and as we see more success stories, I think that number will grow even more. Everyone knows about the skyrocketing popularity of craft beer and cider over the last few years. What we’ve learned is that it’s not just about the beer – it’s about the experience that the guest has when drinking that beer. Restaurants and bars know that cooking or pairing a meal with a full-flavored beer like Samuel Adams Boston Lager or a cider like Angry Orchard Crisp Apple can elevate the overall dining experience for their guests. It’s all about offering variety that will enhance a food’s flavor and provide that unforgettable meal.
ITM: What have you done to elevate beer to its rightful place at the table?
JG: As a self-proclaimed foodie, I love cooking with beer and creating fun, unique food and beer pairings because the possibilities are endless, with so many beer styles and flavor combinations to work with.
We always talk about different food pairing options that work well and how to choose a beer that will enhance a food’s flavor, cut through richness, or contrast flavor. One great example is with our Boston Lager. The upfront malt character in Boston Lager matches the caramelized flavors of grilled or broiled steak, and deepens the natural beef flavors. The subtle hoppy spice helps cut through the meat’s richness. Another great pairing is slow-cooked country style ribs with apple cider barbecue sauce. Apples and ribs are a natural pairing and the hard cider promotes a nice caramelization of the meat.
In addition to pairing, beer is an amazing ingredient in any dish. We have a great recipe for pizza using Boston Lager as an ingredient – and even the crust is infused with Boston Lager. And for the Oktoberfest season, we have a great recipe for beer-infused brats using our Samuel Adams OctoberFest – perfect for celebrating the season. Recipes like these are sure to stand out on any menu.
ITM: How have you worked with partners on this concept of cooking with beer?
JG: We have resources to develop unique and interesting recipes that include beer or cider as an ingredient. We have also partnered with a culinary innovation team on a few larger projects, developing a range of custom recipes that align with specific culinary, operational and brand needs.
Additionally, we hosted an event earlier this year at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa. The event, which we named “The Bazaar,” was a culinary immersion designed to provide unique flavor experiences and generate sales building ideas. We had a number of chefs on hand who discussed flavor trends and provided cooking demonstrations that showed the various ways those trends could come alive in a restaurant.
Bottom line, there are so many different ways to cook with beer to create unique and innovative recipes, and some great food and beer pairings that are yet to be discovered, so I encourage everyone to think about beer as an ingredient to enhance any dish.