Craft beer has changed the way America drinks. No longer satisfied with the generic, fizzy, yellow- colored liquid once so common in taverns everywhere, Americans are turning their tastes to better beer and American entrepreneurs have heeded the call, with more than 3,000 breweries producing a wide range of styles and flavors.
With the rise in craft beer, there is a newfound interest in drinking beer with food. This was once the sole domain of wine, but as any beer lover will attest, craft beer is often just as good if not better than wine as an accompaniment to food. One book that devotes itself to the growing popularity of beer and food is The Foodie’s Beer Book: The Art of Pairing and Cooking with Beer for Any Occasion, a recipe and educational guide written by Brooke and Luther Fedora and published by Sky Horse Publishing.
Beer Past and Present
The Foodie’s Beer Book starts off with a brief history of beer and some educational material on the ingredients components of beer, the different characteristics of beer, and the different styles of beer. The book then discusses cooking with beer and explains why beer goes so well with so many different foods, both as an ingredient and as an accompaniment.
Bring on the Food
Next is the part of the book readers will reference most frequently: The recipes. Rather then divide the book by type of cuisine, The Foodie’s Beer Book is organized by season. Starting with the winter season, the book features foods popular during the colder times of the year. It then proceeds through the seasons of the year, with special beer/food pairings and specific recommendations of brand names and styles. Most of the recipes include beer as ingredient, but this isn’t true with every recipe. And with beer/food pairings, there is usually a specific beer recommendation, but readers are encouraged to substitute beers suited to their own taste.
The Foodie’s Beer Book is all about education and creativity. The authors obviously know a thing or two about the art of cooking and beer pairing and they want to share this knowledge with readers. Craft beer is often very complex and it deserves an equally complex, interesting food. Simple food dishes can be paired with beer, yes. But a cook can turn the ordinary into extraordinary by finding an intriguing recipe and then matching it with an equally intriguing beer.
There are a few easy recipes in this book requiring five or fewer ingredients. But the best and most memorable recipes and beer pairing combinations are with the more complicated recipes. Just to cite one example, in the summer section there is a subsection titled Summer Birthday Bash. One of the recommended recipe/beer pairings is Roasted Chicken with Sauteed Summer Vegetables paired with Reissdorf Kolsch from the German brewer Brauerue Heinrich Reissdorf, The recipe calls for about 13 ingredients and can take half an hour or more to prepare, but the results are worth the time and effort, as the flavors of the kolsch beer mesh so nicely with the mixture of flavors from the chicken and vegetables.
Start Cooking and Pairing
Craft beer is an amazing creation, featuring ingredients, processes, and flavors that span an endless array of tastes and sensations. Great beer like this deserves to be paired with great food and The Foodie’s Beer Book is an excellent guide for this purpose. Full color illustrations, step by step instructions, and some delicious food and beer combinations make The Foodie’s Beer Book a very handy book for cooking and entertaining.