Mother Earth Brewing’s Josh Brewer Wins World Beer Festival 2011/CraftBeer.com Smackdown!
While the title may lead you to believe otherwise, Josh’s recent Smackdown win doesn’t mean he’s rough around the edges. On the contrary, he did an ultra-smooth job of marrying beer with food. That’s what the World Beer Festival’s Food & Beer Pairing Challenge is all about. Julia Herz, Publisher of CraftBeer.com (and the Brewers Association Craft Beer Program Director) moderated, mediated and ensured this highly anticipated event was even more electrifying than everyone imagined it would be. Turn-out was awesome and the energy was high.
So here’s how a Smackdown goes down: Four hand-picked brewers are given a pre-determined food selection and must choose a craft beer that best suits the food. In short; Brewers go head-to-head to create the ultimate beer and food pairing in front of a 100 person audience stuffed with over-the-top foodies and beer lovers. Along the way they sit on stage and talk smack, reveal a bit about themselves to the crowd, and relish in the opportunity for friendly competition. The pressure is sweet! The audience serves as judge and jury (they were stoked!) and in a blind taste test chose Josh’s pairing of Mole Poblano with Mother Earth Brewing’s Dark Cloud, Munich style Dunkel – earning him the title of World Beer Festival 2011/CraftBeer.com Smackdown Champion. I’m so glad Stephen and I were right on hand to watch Josh weave his magic.
So if you’re wondering what makes a good food and beer pairing, here are a few notes on what the Brewers had to say about crafting a successful pairing.
The food and the beer should be able to stand proudly on their own; yet as a whole, they should be better than the parts. An ideal relationship.
The beer’s attributes should complement, contrast, or even cut. For example, the bitterness in hops balances sweetness. Carbonation bites through rich foods and cleans the tongue.
If you’re interested in more pairing tips, you’ll find every clue you need at CraftBeer. The site sports a boat-load of tips… it’s really very interesting stuff.
Cheers to Josh!
Peace, Love and Beer… Trent