To add cachet to their drink menus, restaurants and breweries are collaborating on some seriously epicurean brews.
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.
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.
This article was published in 7x7's May 2014 issue. Click here to subscribe.