The Brewers Association has expanded its professional beer and food course, adding video lectures.
Do you find pairing beer and food confusing? You’re not alone. A generation ago, beer pairings were as easy as choosing a brew from the same country as the cuisine you were eating. Peroni with pasta, Tecate with tacos, Asahi with sushi – because the brewing industry’s dirty little secret was that most beers on the market back then were all takes on the same style: pale lager. Cut to today: We have infinitely more stylistic options from malty Altbiers to salty Goses to intensely bitter Double IPAs to intensely fruity Double IPAs. Yes, today’s beer scene is a mishmash of revitalized styles and occasional contradictions.
But the good news is that if you’re looking to better understand the culinary side of the modern craft beer movement, America’s craft beer trade group, the Brewers Association, has a site dedicated to exactly that: Craftbeer.com/culinary – and recently, they significantly expanded it to include a video lecture series, as well as updating the professional manual to nearly 100 pages.
Originally released in 2014, the manual, which you can download for free as a PDF, “teaches how to bring craft beer into the kitchen and onto the plate with five in-depth lectures, including two beer tasting sessions detailing 10 popular beer styles and five Interactive Tasting Forms that include menu planning tips and recipes.” The update includes expanded information on paring craft beer with food, adding chocolate and charcuterie to the mix, as well as additional tips for putting together a beer dinner. Additionally, the guide dives into plenty of practical beer knowledge on history, styles and flavor profiles as well as how to store, cellar and serve beer.
The biggest addition, however, is probably the new supplemental video lecture series. These videos are meant to “work in conjunction with the Professional Course manual to help students continue to develop their beer and food knowledge.” They’re “not meant to replace the manual, rather the authors expound on concepts and give students the option to learn visually.” Unlike the book, these videos come at a price: $30 each or $99 for all four.
“Beer pairing is more than a trend on the rise and many chefs are building their careers around it,” said Julia Herz, craft beer program director of the BA. “The information in this course educates and emboldens culinary students and professionals to be leaders in their field when crafting food offerings and creating beer pairings.”
Granted, a 100-page Self-Guided Professional Course and $100 worth of video lectures might be more than the average drinker needs. But at the very least, hopefully this post has taught you that there’s more to beer pairing than drinking a Beck’s with your bratwurst.