Which will emerge triumphant when it comes to pairing with dinner: beer or wine? Kristen Young, Sommelier of the Year 2011, in one corner and the iconic Charles Finkel, founder of Pike Brewing, in the other corner have created a unique beer vs wine pairing dinner at the Waterfront Seafood Grill for the closing night of Seattle Beer Week, May 29th.

Beer vs Wine boxing

Who will win this year: Beer or Wine?

Last year, Kristen sparred beer vs wine with Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head brewery and author of He Said Beer, She Said Wine: Impassioned Food Pairings to Debate and Enjoy: from Burgers to Brie and Beyond. Kristen came up with the wine pairings and Sam came up with the beer pairings for the He said Beer, She said Wine dinner designed by Chef Peter Levine. In 2010, the beer pairings won a narrow victory, edging out the wine pairings by only two points.

Undaunted, Kristen has thrown down the gauntlet again, this time issuing her beer vs food challenge to Pike Brewing. Last year the competition got down and dirty whereas this year there is a healthy layer of cooperation along with the competition.  The 2011 beer vs wine menu was a team effort with Chef Peter Levine and his Sous Chef Wesley Hood, who just happens to be a HUGE beer aficionado.  Together, they created a seasonal menu that will appeal to guests regardless of their “go-to” beverage choice. Charles and Linda Stratton from Pike consulted with Kristen about the beer and wine pairings for the menu to ensure that the menu and pairings worked together as a whole. Not underestimating the allure of bragging rights, the goal here is make the guests at the table smiling and smacking their lips in delight. over the food, beer and wine.

Round One: Pike Dry Wit Seasonal White Ale vs Chateau Ste. Michelle Luxe 2004

Fried local oyster served with tropical salsa.

Round Two: Pike Naughty Nellie Golden Ale vs Long Shadows Poet’s Leap Riesling 2009

Softshell crab with sugar snap peas, yukon gold potato salad and cajun remoulade.

Round Three: Pike Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale vs Buty Conner Lee Chardonnay 2009

Seared Alaskan Halibut with carmelized onion, apricot and pommes gaufrettes

Round Four: Pike Tandem Double Ale vs Betz Le Serenne Syrah 2008

Rack of lamb with white bean puree and rosemary demi-glace

Round Five: Pike XXXXX Dry Stout vs Clos Chatart Banyuls 1993

Port wine chocolate ganache with candied ginger, orange peel and crème anglaise

I am delighted to see that all of the wines, except the Banyuls are high quality, well regarded Washington wines. This good be a very close match against the beers from Pike Brewery!

Instead of just guessing which beverage will elevate this menu into a new stage of deliciousness, make your reservations NOW!
$95 per person plus tax and gratuity for May 29, 2011, 6:30 p.m. Call 206.956.9171 to make your reservation. Come enjoy an exquisitely prepared meal with a touch of friendly competition thrown in!