How did A Perfect Pint get its start?
I started A Perfect Pint in 2007. At the time I had developed an almost obsessive interest in beer. The big craft beer boom had not yet begun. I sensed though, that something big was about to happen. I wanted to be part of it, but I didn’t want to sell it or make it. Most of my other occupations have involved education of some kind. I thought that I could carry that over to beer.
How does one of your tastings go?
I usually try to pour something pilsner-like to start. There is always a malt-forward beer, a hopforward beer, and a beer that derives its main flavors from fermentation and yeast. Beyond that I try to include something with roasted grains and something that will push guests’ understanding of what beer can be.
What’s your response when someone says they don’t like beer?
I hear this all the time and my response is always the same: You haven’t tasted all beer. The range of flavors in beer is so broad that there really is a beer for everyone. You just have to find it. Most people who say that have the idea that all beer tastes like plain American lagers. During my tastings, they discover that there is so much more. I have had so many supposed beer haters at the end of an event say, “I loved everything you poured.”
What does the future of beer look like?
“Local” is likely to remain big. Drinkers now more and more eschew national and regional craft brands in favor of what’s brewed in their city or neighborhood. While I think this is generally a good thing, the downside is the loss of some world-class beers from other regions and countries. The selection of imports has become extremely limited. With that limitation comes a reduction in the styles of beer available. I think it’s a real problem.
Do you like beer or wine with food?
Beer is in many ways a better accompaniment for food than wine. The range of flavors is wider. The flavors include distinctly food-like profiles— toast, coffee, chocolate, caramel, roast, fruit, sourness, sweetness, bitterness, etc. And many of those flavors result from the same chemical reactions that occur in food when it is cooked. They aren’t just similar flavors, they are the same flavors. Additionally, beer brewers can add other ingredients to beer to make it taste like just about anything. With beer/food pairings, the possibilities really are endless. I can’t think of a single food that couldn’t be beautifully paired with a beer.