Why is it that I’ve seen (and even participated) in numerous wine dinners at Saint Louis area restaurants, but never a beer dinner? I know that Schlafly is trying to do their part in the education process, but (and no offense to them as I would do the same thing in their shoes) my guess is that they’re going to feature their own beers at the dinner. And while they make a mighty fine product and offer a ton of styles to help with the pairing process, I personally think if you’re going to teach people about pairing beer and food you should offer the best that a specific style has to offer.
But why is it that some of the restaurants that pride themselves on their beer selections don’t have food and beer pairing educational dinners? Hell, they don’t even have to be educational, how about putting together a menu that just does a damn fine job of pairing great food with great beer?
Overall I think the problem (not unlike the beer menu problem) boils down to education. Restaurants need to be aware of beer styles and what foods they best pair with. I’ll be honest, I’m a beer snob and even I have a hard time recommending beer pairing choices (mostly due to my less than refined food palate) so I know that planning an actual menu that takes the beer’s flavor and body into account and then formulating a menu around those features isn’t an easy thing. But I know there have got to be some chefs and restaurants in the area that are up for the task.