The Pacific Brewing Laboratories guide to DIY food and local brews
MISSION CHINESE FOOD + TRUMER PILSNER
"Anthony Myint and Danny Bowien have created one of the most creative and community minded pop-up restaurant in the nation with Mission Chinese Food (Thu-Tue, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m., at Lung Shan, 2234 Mission, SF. (415) 863-2800, www.missionchinesefood.com). Their delicious twists on traditional Chinese and Asian cooking include kung pao pastrami, thrice-cooked bacon, tingling lamb noodle soup, salt cod fried rice and cold-poached chicken with chicken hearts. Mission Chinese Food also contributes $0.75 from each entrée to the San Francisco Food Bank. The Trumer (www.trumer-international.com) from Berkeley, with its high carbonation, crisp malt backbone and good hop bitterness, offers a good counterpoint to the exotic flavors and spices of Danny's cuisine. As the heat and tingling build from chilies and Szechwan peppercorns, a pilsner can really satisfy. (And if you need to douse a flaming palate, the low alcohol content allows for a few brews with minor effect.)"
NOSH THIS CHOCOLATE + 21ST AMENDMENTS MONK'S BLOOD
Beer and chocolate go together like Bert and Ernie or peanut butter, bananas, and Elvis. Kai Kronfield of Nosh This (noshthis.com) makes some of the most creative chocolates in San Francisco. Butter toffee Bacon Crack, salted caramels made with balsamic vinegar, Meyer lemon, or salt & pepper... not to mention the Bacon Bourbon Rocky Road. These chocolates are the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and chocolate-y and pair well with darker, maltier beers. 21st Amendments Monk's Blood (www.21st-ammendment.com), a dark Belgian ale, fits this bill well. Made with the traditional hops and barley, it also contains figs, vanilla, and cinnamon. It's a complex beer, in a can, that complements the richness and intricate flavors of Kai's creations. This combo is a perfect end to an evening, a mid-day snack, or breakfast — whatever, nobody's judging.
PIZZA HACKER + MOONLIGHT DEATH AND TAXES
"Pizza and beer is typically a no-brainer pairing, but often most choose an IPA, pale ale, or lager to go with their cheesy slice. Moonlight's Mooonlight's Death and Taxes (www.moonlightbrewing.com) is a dark lager — but its roasty, crisp and malty flavors lends itself perfectly to the olive oil and salt-covered crust and smoky essence of the Pizza Hacker's (www.thepizzahacker.com) pies. Jeff, the nominal Pizza Hacker and self-described "occasional Pazi (Pizza nazi)", has built a custom-made portable wood fired brick oven called the FrankenWeber. He wheels it up outside bar or brewery, assembles, and bakes fresh pizzas on the sidewalk. His sauce is from organic heirloom tomatoes and he uses a method pioneered by Tartine for kneading the dough. Best tasted with a full bodied, flavorful pint of brew!
MAGIC CURRY KART + ALMANAC SUMMER 2010
Almanac's Summer 2010 Belgian golden (www.almanacbeer.com) is made with blackberries and aged in red wine oak barrels for 11 months. Brian Kimball of Magic Curry Kart (www.magiccurrykart.com) wheels around two burners and two rice cookers on his bike, and whips up the most incredibly Thai-influenced curries in front of you with amazing precision. The ingredients are fresh and the spices are delicious. Almanac's golden ale will add a nice fruity finish to the spicy and flavorful red or green curry. With an eight percent alcohol count and naturally carbonated in the bottle, Summer 2010 will refresh your palette after every sip without overpowering it, enabling new tastes in every luscious bite of curry. Cheers!