I recently had the pleasure of touring the back rooms of the Half Moon Bay Brewery courtesy of the head chef, Mark Hamilton.  While Mark is genius in his own right as he expertly runs the kitchen, it's the brewery and resulting output which really impressed me.  Or rather, the beer and food pairing which followed our tour.

Mark and Gaston were kind enough to indulge us with a wonderful spread of food and a beer sampler to close out the day.  And while I admit I've never considered beer in the context of food or desserts I was really impressed with the experience and flavors which came out of the tasting.

A few examples of the pairings we tried:

  • Bootlegger's Brown Ale and sliders or the spicy shrimp.
  • Sandy Beach hefeweizen with it's beautiful brown hue and sweet taste pairs well  with an ahi starter or fried calamari.  Surprise!  It's also great with the mango cheesecake.
  • Mavericks Amber Ale and burgers.
  • Pilar Point pale ale is earthy, hoppy and grassy and marries with earthy flavors like those found in mushrooms.
  • The stout or porter pairs well with...chocolate.

A bit of online searching reveals a fair amount of interest in the topic of food and beer pairing as an experience and I suspect you'll start to see more of this as you dine out.   If you want to select the ideal beer for your next meal or outing, check out the chart below which was produced by the Brewer's Association (you'll look like the expert!)  To find the perfect meal, check out Yummly!

Many thanks to Mark, Gaston and staff at the Brewery / Maverick's Lodge for the tour and a delicious lunch!

Mango cheesecake & Sandy Beach Hefeweizen pair well

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