We're nearing the end of Kalamazoo Beer Week . . . a week focused on "building a relationship with craft beer." (Now, some of us already enjoy a very deep and personal relationship with craft beer . . . but what the heck. You can always go deeper.)
Last night, Tom and I had reservations to take part in the Beer Throw Down, sponsored by one of our favorite local restaurants -- Food Dance. The concept is simple: Two brewers go head-to-head in a food-pairings, blind beer tasting showdown. We eat. We drink. We vote.
All of the "tasters" were seated together at long tables in a separate room. Even though most of us didn't know each other when we sat down, we were all pals before the night was over.
Beer does tend to bring folks together.
After the tasting and voting for each round was complete, the brewers talked to us about their beer selection -- a little bit about how it was made, and a little bit about why they selected that particular pairing. Fascinating!
The food was fabulous (as was the beer) -- and it was so interesting to experience the differences between two beers WITH food. Some people around me seemed to have problems choosing sometimes -- but I seemed to always have a clear favorite in every round. (I just gotta say . . . one beer - one that Tom voted for!!! - smelled like pee. I just couldn't with that one. But then . . . I am a wine drinker. . . so what do I know?)
Our final course . . . dessert . . . was beer floats!
I could've voted for either, but in the end. . . I chose #2.
Fun night! And a great way for Tom to overcome his jet lag!
(In the end, the winner was New Holland Brewing . . . in a sweep. My favorites, every round, as it turned out.)