The PR firm representing Charcut, a soon to be opening roast house in Calgary, recently emailed to let us know that Charcut will have on their staff a beer cellar steward. I’d never heard of a beer cellar steward before, but I think the idea is pretty cool. It is my opinion that beer pairs with food just as well or better than wine. I’ve been to a few establishments employing sommeliers with epic wine cellars, so why not do the same with beer? If I’m in Calgary (flames suck) anytime after January, I’ll surely pay a visit to Charcut to see how they are getting on.
Erik got us introduced to Charcut’s steward Kirk Bodnar, author of Beers ‘n Such, who I’ve found to be a really cool guy from our conversations so far. Kurt was kind enough to share with us a few of his favorite beers and food pairings:
I have to say that Fall/Winter is probably my favourite time in terms of seasonals – there’s something about having a nice full bodied Doppelbock or Barley Wine in the warm indoors when it’s cold outside! Then again, you really can’t beat drinking a refreshing Kölsch in a Biergarten in the summer in Cologne (I recently moved back to Canada from Germany). But anyway – here’s what I have been drinking over the last few weeks:
Ayinger – Celebrator Doppelbock. A classic! A winter must for me!
Unibroue – Maudite – again, nothing new, but great – especially with cured meats/charcuterie.
Dieu de Ciel – Route des epices – spicy – almost Christmas-like to me.
Les Trois Mousquetaires – Doppelbock – probably my favourite doppelbock currently.
(I’m really liking Quebec beers right now…)
I’m still drinking a fair amount of Hefeweizen as well – although they are summery, I never really get tired of them. Tree’s Hefeweizen is still tasting great, and I also like Kaltenberg’s König Ludwig Weissbier.
As far as interesting pairings, I recently paired some Dupont Saison with a warm roasted wild mushroom and spinach salad – very nice! The earthiness of the Saison paired perfectly with the similar elements in the mushrooms. Also, to stick with my current Quebec beer infatuation, I put together a Les Trois Mousquetaires Noire (Black Lager) with a tiramisu – it was a perfect! The beer has considerable coffee and chocolate notes, which go perfectly with the tiramisu. I even had some oreo ice cream with the Noire, and it worked too (though not as well, but decently).
All the best to Kirk and Charcut on their new endeavor! I hope their passion for beer and food pairings educate and delight their patrons.