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Rob Coffey

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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by Rob Coffey » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:00 am

dupe post
Last edited by Rob Coffey on Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by Rob Coffey » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:09 am

Ken B wrote:Looked over the old thread, did not really bring much to this discussion, but am putting the link here 'cause I said I would:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=18898


I havent read it all, but one thing you said there: bitter beers are hard to pair?

Not even remotely true. Spicy asian and hoppy pair great, for example. It annoys me that more Thai (to pick a specific example) places dont carry an IPA on tap.

And since Dragon King's Daughter was mentioned...I was there last weekend and ordered something hoppy to go with my spicy tuna roll. Hops do a great job of cutting thru the spice.
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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by Ken B » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:20 am

Rob Coffey wrote:I havent read it all, but one thing you said there: bitter beers are hard to pair?

Not even remotely true. Spicy asian and hoppy pair great, for example...And since Dragon King's Daughter was mentioned...I was there last weekend and ordered something hoppy to go with my spicy tuna roll. Hops do a great job of cutting thru the spice.


I will have to politely agree to disagree here. When I discuss pairing (which I do regularly in a professional context), I use language like "complement", "lift" or "support". Not "cutting thru". Clearly you have a different idea of what pairing is about.

Rob Coffey wrote:It annoys me that more Thai (to pick a specific example) places dont carry an IPA on tap.


In this case I must also disagree but cannot do so politely. To reiterate what I said above: us backwards, ignorant Asians can't thank folks like you enough for telling us what we should be serving/drinking with our cuisine.
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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by Shane Campbell » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:01 am

I hate to get between you two authorities with my own unqualified input. Nah - really I don't because my opinion is just as valid as either of yours and as long as I express it as such I doubt either of you will get your hackles up.

Preface any (maybe most) of your remarks with " in my opinion" and most arguments become irrelevant. All of this discussion is about personal preference and so little can be gained by suggesting that tasting pairings are facts rather than tendencies. Perhaps most people will perceive a pairing in a certain way but always others will not.

I prefer bitter beer but even I will not drink a hop monster if I want to appreciate any subtlety of flavor afterwards. In my opinion, a beer like Three Floyd's "Pride and Joy" will pair nicely with almost anything. I would not drink Three Floyd's "Alpha King" if I were going to eat anything that did not feature a lot of bold character.

As someone who recently bemoaned my own lack of knowledge about pairing beer and food I find myself on firmer ground now that I've read much (not all) of Garrett Oliver's book – The Brewmaster's Table. I've always preferred bitter beer (not necessarily punch you in the mouth bitter) with food; since I was first introduced to bitter beer that is. I find that it suits me fine while eating most foods whether spicy, sweet, salty, or otherwise.

I've also realized now that there are other beers (other than bitter) that elevate the experience even more when paired properly with foods.

Having said that, I reject entirely the idea that bitter (mildly bitter) beer is hard to pair with food. That is entirely my own subjective opinion and the only one that matters when I'm eating and drinking as it turns out. If Ken believes otherwise, he is not wrong.

From Publishers Weekly
“Oliver, the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery, argues that brewing beer is far more complicated than making wine, and pleads with beer drinkers to reach past the shelves of mass-produced hops toward bottles produced in more specialized breweries. His message may seem past its sell-by date, but his tour of beers and his brew-and-food match-ups are anything but stale. After explaining beer-making processes, Oliver launches into his beer-food combinations; though he offers no recipes, his recommendations- the classic pairing of Irish stout with oysters; the dark, caramely flavors of Trappist ales balancing a duck confit; the IPA from his own brewery complementing Thai, Mexican, and Vietnamese food-are excellent. Beer drinkers of all sorts will happily drift along Oliver's exhaustive tour.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.”
I'm a bitter drinker....I just prefer it that way
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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by Rob Coffey » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:25 am

Ken B wrote:
Rob Coffey wrote:I havent read it all, but one thing you said there: bitter beers are hard to pair?

Not even remotely true. Spicy asian and hoppy pair great, for example...And since Dragon King's Daughter was mentioned...I was there last weekend and ordered something hoppy to go with my spicy tuna roll. Hops do a great job of cutting thru the spice.


I will have to politely agree to disagree here. When I discuss pairing (which I do regularly in a professional context), I use language like "complement", "lift" or "support". Not "cutting thru". Clearly you have a different idea of what pairing is about.


Actually, in this case, "cutting thru" is complementing. As Shane mentioned above, hops can cause problems with detecting subtle flavors afterwords. I would say the same goes for spicy foods. It makes it hard to get subtle flavors from drink. Thus, the hops and the spice go well together, both big bold flavors that wallop the senses. A pale lager, for example, has such subtle flavors (when it has any at all) that a spicy Thai dish would make it indistinguishable from water (when it isnt already that). And vice versa with drinking an IPA with subtle food flavors.


Rob Coffey wrote:It annoys me that more Thai (to pick a specific example) places dont carry an IPA on tap.


In this case I must also disagree but cannot do so politely. To reiterate what I said above: us backwards, ignorant Asians can't thank folks like you enough for telling us what we should be serving/drinking with our cuisine.


If Im eating it, its MY cuisine.

Just because 40 years ago America didnt have any beer other than adjunct lagers doesnt mean that a Bud goes well with a grilled burger. It was NEVER the best beer pairing, even though there were no other American options. And considering some of the craft beer movements going on in Asia, I think it is changing in much the same way (if maybe lagging behind the US).
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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by Rob Coffey » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:48 am

Shane Campbell wrote:From Publishers Weekly
“Oliver, the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery, argues that brewing beer is far more complicated than making wine, and pleads with beer drinkers to reach past the shelves of mass-produced hops toward bottles produced in more specialized breweries. His message may seem past its sell-by date, but his tour of beers and his brew-and-food match-ups are anything but stale. After explaining beer-making processes, Oliver launches into his beer-food combinations; though he offers no recipes, his recommendations- the classic pairing of Irish stout with oysters; the dark, caramely flavors of Trappist ales balancing a duck confit; the IPA from his own brewery complementing Thai, Mexican, and Vietnamese food-are excellent. Beer drinkers of all sorts will happily drift along Oliver's exhaustive tour.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.”


In The Brewmaster's Table, Oliver uses the word "dovetails" in describing the interaction of hops with Thai food.

A little more "complementary" than my use of "cuts thru".
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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by Ken B » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:07 pm

(Note to self: when the topic of beer comes up, stay out of it next time. It never ends up good, whether I'm involved or not.)

Rob Coffey wrote:If Im eating it, its MY cuisine.


I'm going to drop out of this thread, though I have a fair bit more to say. My hackles have been raised enough, and I don't really intend to do so to anyone else, or at least any more than I have already, but I do have one correction to add here. When you open your own restaurant that serves spicy food (Thai or otherwise) with IPAs, then it will be "YOUR cuisine". Until then, it's just your opinion about food someone else made - their cuisine. And as we have all observed here, the opinion differs from mine - if we weren't informed & opinionated people with something to say, why would we be here? I'd have a little more respect for other opinions if they weren't based on information pulled from one source (however strong Mr Oliver's book may be) and they may well be, but I haven't seen any evidence of that. In my opinion, the best way to enjoy IPAs with your spicy food: carry out + the beer of your choice. Or say something to the proprietor about it. We all have complaints about some aspect of the food and/or beverage industry in town (as well as compliments), if you voice it here, expect there to be commentary.
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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by Rob Coffey » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:30 pm

Ken B wrote:(Note to self: when the topic of beer comes up, stay out of it next time. It never ends up good, whether I'm involved or not.)


Its just my opinion, but I find the beer conversations here to always be interesting and enlightening. They (almost) always end up good, whether Im involved or not.


Rob Coffey wrote:If Im eating it, its MY cuisine.


I'm going to drop out of this thread, though I have a fair bit more to say. My hackles have been raised enough, and I don't really intend to do so to anyone else, or at least any more than I have already, but I do have one correction to add here. When you open your own restaurant that serves spicy food (Thai or otherwise) with IPAs, then it will be "YOUR cuisine".


Weird, my hackles havent been raised at all, and I havent seen anything said that should cause that in others. But all hackles behave differently, I guess.

That said, Im kind of a property rights extremist, if you sell it to me, its MINE. Dont want me claiming Thai cuisine as my own, then dont sell it to me. :D But I think my view on that comes from typical american mongrelism. Once it arrives here, we claim it as our own. Gives us your tired, your poor, your rice-based cuisines, etc, etc.

I'd have a little more respect for other opinions if they weren't based on information pulled from one source (however strong Mr Oliver's book may be) and they may well be, but I haven't seen any evidence of that.


At least two sources, in my case:
1. Garrett Oliver
2. My personal preference

Its nice when my personal preference matches up with expert opinion, it doesnt happen that often.

Or say something to the proprietor about it. We all have complaints about some aspect of the food and/or beverage industry in town (as well as compliments), if you voice it here, expect there to be commentary.


I hope what I say here gets back to proprietors. And I hope for commentary. Its worked in the past -- my post about beer menus on websites led to Coal's adding it to theirs. Props to Madelaine for the change, I dont think Ive mentioned it on here.
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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by David R. Pierce » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:09 pm

SingaHa.jpg
My introduction to hoppy beer
(9.7 KiB) Downloaded 42 times

While certainly not IPA, Sing Ha has 5 more bittering units than standard Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and is Thai. I wonder what food it was meant to compliment?

BTW, 5 bittering units amounts to the difference between water and Budweiser.
Last edited by David R. Pierce on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by Rob Coffey » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:13 pm

David R. Pierce wrote:
SingaHa.jpg

While certainly not IPA, Sing Ha has 5 more bittering units than standard Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and is Thai. I wonder what food it was meant to complement?


Im sure a good, hoppy Czech Pilsner would work nicely too.

Probably should put Pilsner in quotes, becuase Im including beers brewed outside of Plzen.
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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by Rob Coffey » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:14 pm

David R. Pierce wrote:
BTW, 5 bittering units amounts to the difference between water and Budweiser.


Has it really gotten that low? I would have guessed somewhere around 8. Whats the human threshhold for detection? I know its pushing up against it.
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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by David R. Pierce » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:15 pm

Rob Coffey wrote:
David R. Pierce wrote:
BTW, 5 bittering units amounts to the difference between water and Budweiser.


Has it really gotten that low? I would have guessed somewhere around 8. Whats the human threshhold for detection? I know its pushing up against it.

Probably not, I'm just being a dick.
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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by Rob Coffey » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:19 pm

David R. Pierce wrote:
Rob Coffey wrote:
David R. Pierce wrote:
BTW, 5 bittering units amounts to the difference between water and Budweiser.


Has it really gotten that low? I would have guessed somewhere around 8. Whats the human threshhold for detection? I know its pushing up against it.

Probably not, I'm just being a dick.


Googling around suggests anywhere from 5-12, with 10-12 being the consensus. For anyone who isnt aware (I know David is), it has been drifting down very, very slowly over the last 40-50 years (maybe longer).
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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by Ken B » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:20 pm

David R. Pierce wrote:
SingaHa.jpg

While certainly not IPA, Sing Ha has 5 more bittering units than standard Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and is Thai. I wonder what food it was meant to compliment?

BTW, 5 bittering units amounts to the difference between water and Budweiser.


I said I was done here, but I can't help point out that in a thread referenced here, the owner of a certain independent brewing establishment took me to task for bringing bittering units into the conversation. And note that you mentioned that the Sing Ha was not an IPA, etc. etc., which was (more or less) what we have been talking about. Drink what you like when you eat what you like. Oh yeah, one other note, I will say that most Asian cuisines work with bitter as a taste axis far more than Western cuisines, so sure, it does make sense. Just not to me.

...okay, I'm really done now. (I think)
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Re: Beer! Its important and stuff

by Doug Davis » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:35 pm

I respect everyone's opinion, because in matters of taste they are very subjective. So no one's hackles should be raised.

Unless you are a hipster who drinks swill like PBR (which tastes just as bad as all the other massed produced crap) because its "cool". Then you can get your hackles up, but I dont care. :P
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