Anthology Pairs Music, Food And Beer
There are certain experience-enhancing amenities—great music, tasty food and plenty of refreshing beer—that pretty much guarantee a good time. Looking to provide patrons with plenty of all three (especially the latter), Anthology has implemented a monthly event series spotlighting one of our community’s most revered local commodities—craft beer.
“Beer is a huge part of our culture here in San Diego,” says Anthology executive chef Eric Bauer. “It’s great to support local brewers just like we do local farmers and growers, and exciting to show the public that it’s not just about the pairing of food and wine any more. Beer is an art and cannot be achieved without dedication and a very keen eye on superior ingredients and styles.”
Bauer’s main vehicle for exposing diners to the thoughtfully developed flavors of local brews is a special menu consisting of over a dozen dishes (ranging from $5 to $15), each of which are engineered to pair with specific craft beers. The first draft of this brew-centric bill of fare was unveiled at Anthology’s first craft beer event in late January, which featured the beers of Miramar-based Airdale Brewing Company against the melodic backdrop of Eagles cover band, The Long Run.
“Marsha Berkson (co-owner of Anthology) and Chef Eric approached us with an obvious growing passion for local craft beer and an expertise in what they do,” says Airdale owner Tony Clarke, who was on hand along with brewmaster Dave Lusk to speak with patrons about their line of beers during the event.
“We strive to produce beers that have great layers of flavor while not being overpowering to the palate, which makes them perfect compliments to food on the dinner table,” says Clarke. “I think Eric did a wonderful job of isolating distinct flavors from the beers and incorporating them into his pairings.”
“Whenever we pair food with drinks, we always look at the flavors that are in the beer and look at food items that pair well with these,” says Bauer, who took the time to cite examples of his pairing methodology using epitomic dishes from his Airdale-inspired menu.
Tuna Crudo: “This dish has a bit of everything, from the spiciness of shaved jalapeño to the acidity of a yuzu emulsion to the clean flavor of tuna. It’s a great match with the Airdale Horizon Hefeweizen, with its clean, light flavors that will not overpower the tuna. The tuna is still the star, and the beer helps along the flavors that are paired with it.”
Airdale's Tony Clarke and Dave Lusk.
Photo by Ron Donoho
Open Face Burger: “The depth of flavors and big ending with a duck egg and tomato Béarnaise sauce make this a great match against the Airdale Afterburner Amber Ale with its hoppy notes and caramel color. This beer is great as it will cut through some of those more pronounced flavors and help to keep the palate clean and looking for more.”
Chocolate and Chipotle Cake: “Airdale Dark & Stormy Imperial Stout is a great match with sweets because of its rich flavors and subtle sweet profile. The chipotle in the chocolate gives the cake a distinct smokiness that helps pull together the sweet side of the dish as well as bring about the caramel notes in the beer.”
Other menu offerings included warm goat cheese toasts with blood-orange marmalade, saffron risotto bites studded with chorizo sausage (both of which are built to marry with the Airdale Horizon. There were also rosemary and honey-brined chicken tenders with quince mustard served with Airdale’s Homecoming Porter, which was used to braise chicken for enchiladas served with roasted poblano chilies and caramelized pearl onions.
The next two iterations of this series are on tap for February 17 and March 17 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. February’s featured brewery will be Karl Strauss Brewing Company, which will celebrate its operation reaching legal drinking age by debuting its 21st Anniversary Ale, a Belgian strong ale fermented with juice from California old vine zinfandel grapes.
March’s headlining brewery has yet to be determined, but as Bauer says, “I am sure that, with all the quality craft brewers in San Diego, it will be no problem making this a great event that brewers are excited to be a part of.”
- City: San Diego
- Name: Anthology
- Address: 1337 India Street