November 12, 2010

Ignite Phoenix 8 - Let's put Beer on the Dinner Table video has posted.

Empty now, but daunting full!
For those of you that missed the personal social media onslaught that I engineered leading up to Ignite Phoenix, the presentation I did at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts has finally posted to the Ignite Phoenix YouTube Channel. For everyone else, I promise, this is not a purely ego driven post. Beer is important in shaping our enjoyment of Phoenix life and I'd like another opportunity to expound upon the 15 slides per second,  brutal, yet elegant Ignite format.

See the video and more commentart after the jump!

The message I hoped to convey is that beer is a natural fit for those that enjoy dining and that it is underrepresented in Phoenix area restaurants. We of course looked at this problem in-depth in our Open Letter to Restaurants Participating in AZ Restaurant Week.

The long and short of it (really, the short of it) is that 5 minutes is not a heck of a lot of time. I'm pretty sure that  I made it entertaining enough and know from people's reactions that some of the fact sprinkled in managed to take root. The point about carbonation lifting flavors and cleansing the palate seemed to be a common "A-ha' moment for many.  A few others that were not as familiar with beer, reacted rather positively  to the, "beer is liquid bread" idea.

I wanted to take some time and identify some of the local restaurants that ended up making the cut  for this presentation.

One of the most interesting pairings was the  Nobou at Teeter House braised pork belly bun with  pickled mustard greens paired with Coedo Beniaka, a sweet potato beer. There are a dozen or so Japanese beers that run a gamut of flavors at Nobuo from Iwate Kura Oyster Stout to a Oze IPA to a Shizen Bakushu wild yeast ale that are new to even the geekiest beer aficionado.  It's nice to see someone really experimenting with beer flavors, so one can forgive the lack of   local and regional craft beers.

Moto usually has hi-strength flavorful beers
The seaweed salad belongs to Moto on 16th and Glendale. Moto is notorious for having hoppy IPAs, robust strong ales and rich imperial stouts. These are at odds with a beer pairing philosophy for the sushi fare on their menu, but I think that the owners and managers look at it as a point of pride. It's an amazing place that is not afraid to change out their entire taplist.

FNB stands for Food and Beverage
The Citrus Pork on flat bread smothered in beehive chedder and topped with fresh arugula was from a beer and cheese paired dinner at FNB. Lara Mulchay, formerly of the amazing Petit Fromage (and still @PetitFromageAZ) handled the cheese selections and the beers were from Four Peaks and Santan Brewing.  I really liked how the arugula bitterness worked with the long bitter finish of the 8th Street Ale- a classic English Pale Ale with restrained fruitiness. You also have citrus playing off the hops and crusty flat bread accentuating malt.

Los Dos Molinos Chile Relleno Adovada.
The Chile Relleno with Carne Adovada is from Los Dos Molinos on Central. The classic Vienna Lager style is a perfect balance to the heat of Mexican food and it really lets you appreciate the subtle roasted flavors in Hatch chiles and that's why I chose Negra Modelo. Remember, you can pair beer to balance or accentuate.  I love an IPA as much as anyone but I think it's a good idea to set your favorites aside from time-to-time and let the overall meal help you select a beer instad of just choosing your favorites.

Beernana split
Perhaps the most talked about concept of the night was the "beernana split"- the notion that a hefe, a stout and vanilla ice-cream could give you banana, caramel, and chocolate.  That picture was taken at Four Peaks Brewing in Tempe. Really, the original concept was to go with a Russian Imperial Stout and Hefe, but Four Peaks only has an Oatmeal stout which worked out slightly different than planned.  Incidentally, you can definitely pull this combo off at The Main Ingredient, using Sonoran Inebriator and Four Peaks Hefeweizen.


  1. Hey guys,

    Love the site. I wish you had put more info down about that Beernana split. Let me know what you think about this beer comparison that I've been working on:

    Let me know what you think.


  2. You went to some of my favorite Phoenix restaurants- Nobuo and Los Dos. Those are definitely some interesting pairings, the beernana split sounds yummy.