Keeping up with the ins and outs of craft beer - what to serve, how to serve it and what to serve it with - can be a full-time job, and as craft becomes more important as a way to differentiate a bar or restaurant today, great tools that help are hard to find.
So it’s good news that the Brewers Association has stepped in with their own beer and food course, a five-day, 60-page digital manual-based program designed for culinary institutions, food establishments, beverage students and beer educators. Free to download, the program offers an introduction to the beverage of craft beer, pairing beer with food and how to pour and present beer at the table.
Co-authored by Chef Adam Dulye, co-owner and chef of The Monk’s Kettle and The Abbot’s Cellar in San Francisco and the Brewers Association culinary consultant, and Julia Herz, craft beer program director at the Brewers Association, the program includes lectures and suggested readings, two tasting sessions of beer styles and a food pairing session. The final day’s exam, which is available only to accredited instructors and dedicated educators by request, is a 50-question written exam, and there are also instructions for a two-part pairing exam, during which students create a three-course menu, prepare the dishes and select appropriate craft beer pairings.
Why the course? Says the Association in its promotional material, “Beer should be an integral part of culinary education. It accounts for $100 billion in sales in the U.S., compared to $36 billion for wine, and is an expected addition to restaurant beverage menus. With this course, culinary educators and students join the 3,000+ American craft brewers who are helping beer reclaim its place at the dinner table.”
“Interest in broadening craft beer knowledge is high, however many of today’s food educators do not know where to access adequate information on beer and food pairing,” said Herz, who is also publisher of CraftBeer.com and a Certified Cicerone®. “This course empowers students and educators to bring the diverse beverage of craft beer into the kitchen and onto the table.”
“Culinary and hospitality education has long overlooked the intrinsic value that craft beer can provide in relation to food. Fuller-flavored craft brewed beers are so versatile and have so many attributes when it comes to pairing,” added said Dulye, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. “The CraftBeer.com Beer & Food Course is the starting point for educators, chefs and restaurateurs to discover what craft beer can offer.”
Craft beer’s impact is getting more significant all the time, something the big beer boys are surely noticing, as last week Anheuser-Busch InBev added yet another craft house - 10 Barrel Brewing - to its portfolio that already includes Goose Island and Blue Point. Bars and restaurants can lead the way, and courses like these are great ways to inculcate your staffs on the rich history of beer and food.