We attended a Sam Adams tasting this week at Branch 27 (see our original review here) to try their premium beers and see how well they paired with the evening’s menu.
During the course of the meal, Sam Adams founder Jim Koch shared his thoughts about how the beer industry had changed and compared it to the wine industry forty years ago. He feels this is a “magical time in beer” and we can not only look forward to increase in quality craft beer but more beer paired with quality food. A seven course meal will no longer be a six pack and a pizza, but an opportunity to showcase both the food and the beer.
Chef Bob Zrenner’s three course meal took us through pork belly paired with a Cranberry Lambic, braised short ribs matched with Boston Lager, and a pumpkin mousse alongside Sam Adams Winter Lager. I agree that beer and food are an increasingly attractive alternative and this menu provided glimpses of what’s possible.
To finish things off, we tried samples of Sam Adams Triple Bock and Utopias. Both were aged beers with a high alcohol content that put them in the same class as port or cognac, and both were a new experience for me. I appreciate the opportunity to try what Koch calls “extreme beers”, and consider reaching for one of these the instead of an Armagnac next time I’m in the mood.
Is beer the new wine? Here’s what the foodies had to say on Twitter:
@n9tog I love Sam Adams. I’ll believe anything Jim Koch says
@SpongeChicago We ask: what does that make wine?
@MKinChiTown Beer is the new Coke, not wine.
@sparklefade3 I say give me that guy’s number…I’d like him to deliver me some sam adams winter ale!
@Dill9 Beer is the old wine. Historically old. We just found out about it again.
@EllenMalloy I thought Intelligentsia already said coffee is the new wine. No?
Information was provided via a media dinner. All food and drink were provided free of charge.