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Labatt matches food and beer at NYC event.

Labatt USA and its parent company Interbrew kicked off the American round of a newly developed program called "Cooking with Belgian Beer" at New York City's Belgian restaurant Markt on September 13. Luc Bastiaensen, of Interbrew's Corporate Trade Marketing division, explained that the program, already in place in Europe, would be ongoing in several American markets where Belgian beer and food are selling well, such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.

The Markt event featured a demonstration titled "Cooking with Beer, Pairing Beer & Food," presented by Belgian chef, author, TV personality and beer and wine expert, Herwig Van Hove, who recently became a spokesperson for Interbrew. Van Hove helped Interbrew create a five-year program designed to inform professional chefs and home cooks about pairing beer and food.

Van Hove stated that many Belgian dishes are not meant to be paired with wines. He said that hearty dishes, such as those served in brasseries and often at home, call out for more than wine can offer. "The sweet, sour and spicy flavors of some dishes don't go well with wine," said Van Hove. "Beer is best in these cases, cuffing through or diluting these flavors."

Van Hove 's primary philosophy in pairing beer and food is to create a "mutual enhancement of the beer and the dish."

"Find the dominant taste of dish, Whether it's sweet, sour or bitter, and then choose a beer with similar, but not identical characteristics," explained Van Hove.

The chef also emphasized two additional points regarding pairing beer with food. "Beer is cheaper than wine, and so it's more consumer friendly. And you can drink twice as much beer as wine for the same level of happiness, because of beer's lower alcohol level."
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 25, 2000
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