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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Beer may beat wine even for fine dining

 •  Lost in translation

By Greg Kitsock
Washington Post

Beer would be welcome in the finest dining establishments if Garrett Oliver had his way. The author of "The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food" (Ecco Press, $29.95) is a roving ambassador for the image of beer.

Oliver believes beer is a more versatile companion for food than wine. At a demonstration last month at the Craft Brewers Conference in Seattle, he paired beers with turkey and the trimmings.

Oliver also insists that beer makes a more natural pairing with cheese. In his book, he notes that cheese and beer are traditional farmhouse products, both deriving ultimately from grasses. "Have you ever seen a cow in a vineyard?" he asks.

Cheese tends to be fatty and mouth-coating, which Oliver says blunts the taste of wine. Beer, on the other hand, with its lively carbonation, "scrubs the palate and causes it to reset." It also has nutty and caramelized flavors that meld well with cheese, he notes.