2007: the Year of the Beer Sommelier?

MILWAUKEE, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ — Emulating the increasingly well-known wine sommelier, beer makers are now formulating their own “white with white; red with red” cardinal rules, introducing food pairings to the brewed beverage.

With The National Restaurant Association stating in its 2007 Restaurant Industry Forecast that “Americans are expecting more from their dining experiences than ever before,” matching appropriate food with the appropriate beer is becoming a great way to enhance the dining experience. Enriching the flavors, aromas, and textures of the meal through pairing helps satisfy the curiosity of adventurous diners.

At Miller Brewing Company, Ryan Johnson’s job is to satisfy this food and beer pairing movement among beer and culinary connoisseurs. The food and beverage industry rely on Johnson’s expertise to augment their own. Additionally, Johnson, the U.S. trade brewer for Miller Brewing Company’s International Brands Division, guides people through beer dinners and tastings.

“The insights I provide enable consumers to pair the original clear, golden beer with the ease and panache of a gourmet chef. Pilsner Urquell brings a pleasantly bittersweet flavor, delicate malt/hop balance, refreshing cascade of carbonation and crisp, rewarding finish to any dish. Consumers should follow these simple pairing guidelines when preparing an adventurous dinner at home or when dining out,” Johnson said.

  — Pilsner Urquell should never be paired with a lightly-flavored dish.
The full-flavored nature of the beer simply cannot be balanced by
anything less than a dish of equally complex flavor notes.
— Try regional food pairings from the Czech Republic, Southern Germany
and Northeastern Austria, they have a natural affinity for the Bavarian
ingredients found in Pilsner Urquell.
— Because of its rich flavor, Pilsner Urquell pairs well with robust
dishes that would otherwise overpower most lagers.

More specifically:
— PORK – Roasted pork and zesty, spice-rubbed pork medallions bring an
explosive flavor that when combined with the unique malt/hop balance of
Pilsner Urquell provide a perfect sensory harmony.
— VENISON – Venison coerces the carbonation and hop levels to rival the
spicy, gamey nature of the meat and form a wild, yet memorable pairing.
— BEEF – Steak should always be marinated in a vinegar-based marinade or
rubbed with spices, and served rare to medium to properly accentuate
the delicacies of the beer and help ensure that the robust beef flavor
does not overpower the palate.
— DUCK – Vinegar-marinated roast duck or duck with sweet sauce creates a
savory pairing that embraces the bittersweet balance of Pilsner
Urquell’s Saaz Hops and Moravian Barley Malt.
— CHICKEN – Just about any spicy chicken dish brings out the subtle
complexity of Pilsner Urquell’s malt presence while allowing the hops
to cleanse the palate and ready the tastebuds for their next course.
— SOUP – Potato soup and other cream-based soups marry perfectly with
Pilsner Urquell’s full-flavored body and crisp, clean finish.
— SEAFOOD – Crab, clam, shrimp, oyster and lobster are terrific when
paired with Pilsner Urquell. The flavors are accentuated by the hop
presence and relatively high carbonation levels of the beer, which
doesn’t overpower the delicate shellfish flavor. Marinated or blackened
salmon, herring, anchovies and caviar are also strong enough to create
a perfect balance with Pilsner Urquell’s intense hop presence. However,
steer clear of scallops: they are too delicate for the strong
bitterness of Pilsner Urquell.
— CHEESE – Pilsner Urquell makes a wonderful partner to the lighter,
younger goat’s milk cheeses. Perfection is achieved when the sharply
bitter hop of Pilsner Urquell meets the high oil, high acidity found in
a slice of fresh white cheddar.