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Top Wine Somm sez – Food and wine pairing is bullsh*t

Speaking at the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in Marlborough last month, Hanni spoke passionately about the need to completely rethink the concept of food and wine pairing.

“A perfect wine pairing doesn’t exist. We’re doing a lot of damage the way we’re matching wine and categorising it. We need to start a campaign to stop wine and food pairing as we’ve created a lot of bullsh*t around the idea.

“A lot of people enjoy being arrogant about wine and consider entry-level wines as being unsophisticated. We need to educate the trade to better serve the personal interests of wine lovers.

“We need to celebrate the diversity of consumers, not make them feel stupid. You can serve Sauvignon Blanc with steak – why not?”

Echoing Sarah Heller MW’s opinion, Hanni warned that those who believe food and wine pairing has potential in China will be in for an unpleasant surprise.

Via: The Drinks Business

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OREGON – Zwickelmania celebrates 11th year

Zwickelmania celebrates 11th annual event, participating breweries to sell limited-release statewide collaboration beer
Event kicks off Feb. 16 in the Portland Metro area, and continues Feb. 23 across the rest of the state.

Over a decade ago, three-dozen Oregon breweries opened their doors on a Saturday in February for the first-ever Zwickelmania, a free statewide craft beer celebration that allowed visitors to tour Oregon breweries, meet the brewers and sample beers. About 4,000 craft beer fans took part in the inaugural event, which was designed as a way to promote Oregon’s craft beers and the brewers who make them.

Via: OregonCraftBeer.org

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Why Companies That Have No Business Making Beer Are Suddenly Selling Their Own Brews

The wave started with Blockbuster, back in September. The almost-defunct video store’s swan song had nothing to do with movies, but rather beer: The last standing location collaborated with its Bend, OR, neighbor 10 Barrel Brewing on a black ale appropriately named The Last Blockbuster. Less than two weeks later, Dunkin’ Donuts released a coffee porter with fellow Massachusetts favorite, Harpoon Brewery. It was IHOP’s turn next: The chain followed up the great IHOb debacle with IHOPS, a pumpkin pancake stout made with Keegan Ales. Then, in late October, Planters and Noon Whistle Brewing unveiled their IPA-Nut IPA. Four beers, in two short months, from four companies that all have one thing in common: They do not make beer. So, why the sudden rush to release these craft brew collaborations?

Via Delish

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Detroit Breweries Collaborate to Create Faygo Inspired Beers

For the past four years, Detroit area breweries have teamed up in October to collaborate on innovative beers in honor of the Michigan Brewers Guild’s Fall Beer Festival. However, this year’s theme took experimentation to the next level. Seven breweries decided to pay homage to the cornerstone of Michigan pop (not soda), Faygo, the beloved pop brand of Michiganders and Juggalos alike.

Via www.porchdrinking.com

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BrewDog’s New London Pub Features Beer Price Tied to London Financial Index

The idea is interesting — especially considering the pub is in the heart of the London financial district. Fluctuating prices of a beer based on the FTSE financial index. The price of the beer called Hop Exchange goes up as the FTSE 100 goes up. When it has a bad day, the price comes down.

Link: American Craft Beer

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GABF 2018 – It was huge, and it’s over.

The Great American Beer Festival just keeps getting bigger. More than 800 breweries poured more than 4,000 beers for approximately 62,000 people attending the festival last week in Denver. The enormous convention center setting took on an atmosphere of part circus, part beer-geek Disneyland and part over-sized carnival. Even the pretzel necklaces took it to a new level; instead of wearing a string of pretzels around their neck many participants had a large BAG of pretzels clipped to their necklaces.
For many brewers, particularly the winners, the highlight was Saturday when 280 breweries collected 306 medals in 102 categories. There were 8,496 entries from 2,404 breweries. View the 2018 winners or download a PDF list of the winners.

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Garrett Oliver wins James Beard drinks award

Garrett Oliver, brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, has won the 2014 James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence in the category of “Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional.”

This is the first time a beer professional has won the award since the James Beard Awards were established in 1990.

“This is my 20th year at Brooklyn Brewery, and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate a banner year,” Oliver said. “Chefs are the closest peers of the modern craft brewer, so the culinary side of brewing has always been very important to me. I have a lot of friends in this room. This is a great honor, and I think it signals the fact that real beer is back where it belongs – at the table.”

Oliver began brewing professionally at Manhattan Brewing Company in 1989, then went to work at Brooklyn Brewery in 1994.

His first book, “Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food,” won the 2004 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Book Award and was a finalist for the 2004 James Beard Foundation Book Awards. His most recent book is “The Oxford Companion to Beer.”

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Festival celebrates beverages from the barrels

Celebrating the end of Prohibition 78 years ago, Santa Margarita Ranch and Firestone Walker Brewing will host a festival April 8 that features bourbons, ports and barrel-aged beers.

Tickets are $50 and the event runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the historic ranch 20 miles south of Paso Robles, where Firestone Walker Brewing is located.

The lineup of barrel-aged beers already includes selections from Firestone Walker, Lost Abbey Brewing, Ballast Point Brewing and Stone Brewing — and others likely will be added.

Bourbons scheduled to pour include Blanton’s, Bulleit, Basil Hayden’s, Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select, Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey Rare Breed.

Wineries scheduled to pour ports include Cass, Roxo Cellars and EOS. More likely will be added.

Guests will enjoy tapas from Chef Chris Kobayashi (Artisan), Chef Mark Sahaydek (The Grill at Avila Beach Golf Resort), Chef Justin Gabbert (Novo) and other chefs yet to be named.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.fromthebarrel.net or call (805) 540-3508.

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SAVOR, now June 3-4, adds second session

The Brewers Association has announced SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience has added a second session. It will be held June 3-4 in the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Attendees may sample beers from 72 craft brewers, who team up with a duo of expert chefs to pair each beer with special dishes. Educational salons and private tasting salons will provide additional opportunities for attendees to interact with chefs and brewers.

Details from the press release:

WHY
In 2010, the event sold out in less than one day, which is why SAVOR has expanded to two nights for 2011.

TICKETS
SAVOR tickets go on sale to the general public on Thursday, March 3, at SavorCraftBeer.com. General Admission tickets for Friday, June 3 or Saturday, June 4 are $110 and SAVOR Salons are $30 per Salon.

NEW FOR 2011
Two Expert Chefs Orchestrate Pairings
This year’s menu items and pairings will be carefully designed by expert beer and food pairing chefs from both coasts: Adam Dulye of Monk’s Kettle in San Francisco and Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore’s in Washington, D.C.

Educational Salons and Private Tasting Salons
Nine ticketed Educational Salons, seating 90 people in an auditorium, will feature the culinary and brewing artistry of chefs and craft brewers along with in-depth discussions of flavor and pairings.

Full-Size Stemmed Glassware
For the first time, SAVOR attendees will receive full-size commemorative glassware for sampling at the event and later for personal use.

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Samuel Adams Hoppy Valentine’s Day basket

Samuel Adams Hoppy Valentine's Day basket

We’ve started a beer countdown to Valentine’s Day on our Twitter feed, but some things just don’t fit into 140 characters.

Turns out that Boston Beer has partnered with FromYouFlowers.com to create a Samuel Adams Hoppy Valentine’s Day basket.

The package includes dark chocolate, artisanal salami, gourmet smoked gouda cheese, an assortment of mixed nuts, a bottle-opener key chain, two Boston Lager Pint Glasses and flowers . . . in this case a jar of hops.

No beer. But, not surprisingly, Samuel Adams founder Jim Koch has a solution. “Couple the basket with a six-pack of Samuel Adams Boston Lager and you have the perfect gift,” he said a press release. The release includes results from a survey that found 70% of women says it’s hard to find the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

“Men are typically overlooked on Valentine’s Day, so we wanted to come up with a way for them to receive something they actually want and will enjoy,” Koch said for the press release.

The hops, of course, are the flower addition to the package. The are the same noble hops that Koch rather famously travels to Bavaria each year to choose from each year’s crop.

The package costs $54.99 and is available through Monday. Customers who enter the promotional code “SAM” will receive 20% off on their order.