Put down the mussels and pass the Duvel

Philadelphia’s Don Russell (author of the Joe Sixpack column) has the second in his series about the relationship of good beer and good food.

Today he collects suggestions from chefs and beer writers, including descriptions that will make you hungry and thirsty. For instance, chef Sanford D’Amato of Coquette Café in Milwaukee pairs St. Amaud French Country Ale with smoked, oven-dried tomato and chevre tart with fresh thyme.

“This beer has a rich, deep red, ripe fruitiness with anise licorice hints that is quite delicious, but a bit heavy and cloying with some foods. With the tart, the smoked tomatoes swallowed up a good part of the sweetness of the beer, standing right up to it, and the combination of the slightly bitter smokiness of the tomatoes and the goat cheese’s acidity brought out a mid-range of delicious flavors in the beer that were barely detectable before. The beer tasted much spicier and the tart’s flavors were brought together. For my taste, each made the other better.”

As the authors of “What to Drink with What You Eat” write: “One plus one equals three.”