Pin It

How to drink beer in a nice restaurant 

click to enlarge diningout11-1.jpg

The rest of the table has ordered wine and then the server turns to you. You hang your head and sheepishly ask for a beer.

Been there? Most beer drinkers have over the years, but the notion that beer is the "lesser" when it comes to ordering a drink with dinner has begun to fade away. Many fine-dining restaurants now keep a solid list of tap beers or specialty bottles to choose from.

It wasn't always this way. A decade and a half ago, a nice restaurant might have a few bottles of beer they'd reluctantly bring out to the folks who eschewed wine.

The tide is turning, though. Spokane's No-Li Brewhouse has seen its beer land in some of the state's finest restaurants. A couple of Seattle eateries will gladly serve you a 22-ounce bottle of No-Li, presented by a waiter just like a bottle of wine. Splitting one of these larger bottles could very well become commonplace, believes John Bryant the co-owner of No-Li.

"It's changed in the culture of food. It's totally acceptable in a white-linen restaurant to order a bottle of beer to share," says Bryant.

At No-Li's brewpub, the beer list suggests food pairings and the menu, in term, offers beers that would go well with the food. A fine-dining establishment may know how to match its menu with a beer, but don't sweat it, says Bryant.

"With beer, there's no wrong choice. You could have a stout with fish or a golden with fish. Are there profiles that match better? Sure." says Bryant. "You should drink what you like."

While wine will probably always have a place above beer on the ladder of fanciness, many in the brewing industry, Bryant included, argue that beer is actually the more complex beverage.

"Hops are always evolving. If you think about grapes, they're mostly sustainable, but they're making hop hybrids now in a lab," says Bryant.

This, among other reasons, means that broadly speaking, the range of flavors in beer exceeds that of wine, making for more options for food pairings. As more people realize this, Bryant thinks you'll see more big bottles of beer arriving tableside wrapped in a white cloth.

"I don't think anyone turns their nose down at beer anymore," he says.♦

  • Pin It

Latest in Dining Out Guide


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Mike Bookey

  • BOOK | <i>HOP KING</i>

    One tasty bit of Washington history
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Creative Focus
  • Creative Focus

    With a new leader and funding source, Spokane Arts continues its march to make the city more creative
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Beer Notes
  • Beer Notes

    Whistle Punk lands a taproom spot in downtown Spokane, and some other brewing news
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Most Commented On

Readers also liked…

  • Family Foods
  • Family Foods

    The ravioli at Hill's Resort isn't far from the recipe that chef Scott Hill learned from his grandmother
    • Oct 8, 2015
  • Slow Food
  • Slow Food

    How Ruins' Tony Brown learned that the long way to a dish is the tasty way
    • Oct 8, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation