Brewer's Association brings American beer to dinner in Paris
You know a dinner is going well when everyone starts asking for recipes. A woman on the other side of the room asks a question that perfectly echos what me and my table mates are presently discussing : what is the secret of this black garlic?
The Brewer's Association came to show Paris how to do a five course meal paired with beer. Mouth watering words like : gartin de macquereaux, or delicate white fish mac n cheese with those crunchy bits on top. Striking flavor profiles : betterave, seiche et sanguine, or juicy beetroot, cuttle fish and blood orange. And those American beer styles we have a hard time emulating here.
Aside from local favorite Deck & Donohue's Beaupre, and easily accessible (all be not always freshly so) Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, the line up of beers showcased staples of American brew society. More essential than the brands of the beers were the reminders of how American palates work.
Farmhouse Saison means something different in France.
Chef Edward Delling-Williams and Executive Chef/Beer Sommelier Adam Dulye
Jones | 43 Rue Goderfroy Cavaignac, 75011 Paris
It is not at all easy to collaborate a pairing via email, so when Adam Dulye BA sommelier de bière and Edward Delling-Williams, our chefs mentioned that they had done it all through online communication I was floored. The dishes matched very well with each beer. A buffer of preference from the two beer selection was nice and each dish was presented wonderfully.
As you well know, I pair beer with nearly everything I possibly can, food included, so acknowledging the team for putting together a dinner that was not only impressive but simply enjoyable doesn't come lightly. This of course falls not entirely on the deserving shoulders of the beer curator and the chef but also the team behind planning a fluid service, those who executed the event and even the guests and speakers invited.
Chair de Tourteaux | Petits Pois | Yaourt
Betterave | Seiche | Sanguine
Bob Pease, BA President & CEO
Bob Pease give words of encouragement in a changing market. He assured the beer community that BA is on hand to assist in the healthy growth of the market and that this was only the beginning.
My table may not have been as exciting some of my friend's, but the conversation was great and we shared our feedback of each dish without reservation. There wasn't much negative to say, which makes note sharing fun. The older Japanese wine wholesaler across from me had indepth stories about aspect of life and the two natural wine connoisseurs had just the right amount of snob. My fat beer ego likes to share with other inflated types, as long as it's us bouncing words and no snobbery leaves the table.
There was a moment when one of them gave a nose wrinkle and asked if I like, "those American pumpkin beers." This is a thing we American expats run into a lot here, French not understanding or approving of our desire to pumpkin and spice every consumable product as soon as tree leaves start to fall.
Porc | Ail Noire | Feve
Recipes are family secrets in France but not because of creative ingredients like nutmeg or squash. Much like the black garlic in question above, French cuisine relies heavily on : simple and done with intention. Ingredient quality comes first and technique is second. French pastry obsession displays how many ways a few basic ingredients can be whipped, beat and creamed into an endless display of sweet bready things.
Gateau | Chocolate | Malt
Carrot cake is one of those mysteries turned fad here in Paris. You cannot find a trendy café today that doesn't currently have or has regularly had carrot cake on the counter for sale. Three or four years ago doing such a thing would have been rewarded with the same nose wrinkle and distain as my table mate had given the idea of squash and spice beer. We'll (maybe, someday) win them over. Give it time!
This is the theory I responded with, except I added that they were lucky to have not been part of a traditional (read : fashionably old school) beer event where something like spruce beer was being served. That's right French food purists! Young pine tree needles floating around in your barbarian beer. What will the savage new world pilgrims think of next?
Black garlic. That's what we were thinking about. Someone else had gone to ask the chef about the garlic. How one could take a simple garlic clove, turn it black, caramelized and slightly nutty without ever apparently adding heat to the thing?
Aaron of Not Drinking Poison in Paris explaining beer
Brewer's Association bringing over innovative beer, clean and well made beer, for the populace in France to grow alongside with is awesome. I can't wait to see what else they come up with, and if they continue to benchmark food and beer pairings like this, there may be hope of seeing good beer regaiing it's rightful place on the white clothed tables of Paris. Right above the Champaign selection but below the wine, and definitely not the same page as the juice and cocktails.