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Local Restaurants and Breweries Collaborate on Unique Pairing Menus

At ICHI Sushi + Ni Bar, chicken thigh yakitori and flank steak with ponzu and yuzu kosho kushiyaki pair well with Ichibier, a custom brew by Almanac Beer Company. Photograph by Nader Khouri

To add cachet to their drink menus, restaurants and breweries are collaborating on some seriously epicurean brews. 

ICHIBIER

By Almanac Beer Company and Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar

The collaboration: There’s a lot of love between the Almanac and Ichi teams, so when chef-owner Tim Archuleta wanted a signature beer to celebrate the February opening of his izakaya at Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar, the Almanac brewers were the obvious choice.

The beer: The Almanac team drew inspiration from Japanese rice beers, brewing their blonde ale with sushi rice from the Ichi kitchen. The concoction showcases two of chef Archuleta’s favorite ingredients: shiso leaf and yuzu juice.

The pairing: Chicken thigh yakitori. 

Mission Chinese Beer

By Mikkeller Brewery and Mission Chinese Food

The collaboration: Mikkeller brewer-owner Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and Mission Chinese Food chef-owner Danny Bowien became pals when Copenhagen-based Bjergsø was in town to open his Union Square bar in July 2013. The brewer and chef connected after Bjergsø made Mission Chinese Food his favorite late-night dining destination, and soon a collab was in the works.

The beer: Bowien gave one instruction for Mission Chinese Beer: “Make something poundable.” The result is a drinkable pilsner ale showcasing flavors from the MCF kitchen, such as smoke and Sichuan peppercorns.

The pairing: Chongqing chicken wings.

Tosca

By Fort Point Beer and Tosca Cafe

The collaboration: When bar manager Isaac Shumway took on Tosca’s bar program, creating a custom beer was a priority. So, he began setting up meetings with local brewers. He was consistently impressed by Justin and Tyler Catalana’s brews; Tosca chef April Bloomfield agreed and thought his beers would fit perfectly with her food.

The beer: Tosca, the beer, was brewed specifically to pair with Bloomfield’s modern Italian cuisine. The light, pilsner-style base is infused with yerba santa from Mount Tamalpais, which adds a minty, melony sweetness.

The pairing: Crispy pig tails.

Still thirsty? Preview Ichi Sushi + Ni Bar's new beer pairing menu, exclusive to 7x7 readers here

This article was published in 7x7's May 2014 issue. Click here to subscribe.