Beer and Food: What’s in Store? By Ginger Johnson

Sam Filler of McQuade Distributors/Bismarck ND

Ginger JohnsonThe store in the headline means the restaurants, pubs, and bars you frequent to enjoy beer and food. So what’s in store as far as the offerings of food to accompany the modern day world-class beer?

Below is an article I wrote September of 2010. The thoughts are timeless in so far as beer and food should match quality wise. Businesses, read on:

If you have any kind of taproom, pub, beer garden, restaurant or otherwise serve food, what’s on the food menu?

The assumption is in place that you are passionate about the beer. So when you look at your food choices, do they match the passion of the beer (even if the choice is simply pretzels)? If so – great. If no, what gives?

Why would you encourage sub par food to be eaten with your high quality beer? It’s like cooking in a dirty kitchen with prime ingredients. It’s like brewing in a dirty brewery – the pride and effort you’ve already invested in the front end needs to carry all the way through.

Sam Filler of McQuade Distributors/Bismarck ND

Sam Filler of McQuade Distributors/Bismarck ND

Easy and reasonably priced food can still be tasty and match your beer.

One thing women tell me about why they don’t like (some) pubs is the food selection. In fact there’s one brewpub very close to where I live that I’d like to go spend an evening at – yet their food quite frankly is poorly done, greasy and gut bombish. It’s not even good greasy food.

When given the choice why would anyone who values their beer want to go have gut bomb food? Good fresh fried foods are not what I am talking about here either – ’cause I’m all for that when the grease is fresh and it’s not the only cooking method on the menu.

You’ve paid so much attention to the beer. Pay some heed to the food – and you’ll generate more business from women & men alike.

So you’re a consumer on not in the business side? Same idea, read on:

Your tummy is rumbling and your palate is parched so you walk into a pub…hoping for something delicious and refreshing. Food and drink is on the brain. You sit at the bar and (hopefully) get a menu promptly from the tender.

In examining the menu, you notice one of two scenarios:

  1. The menu is “Oh!” inspiring.
  2. The menu is “oh…” inspiring.
Pork Asada at Falling Sky, Eugene OR - sooooooo delicious with their fresh beer

Pork Asada at Falling Sky, Eugene OR – sooooooo delicious with their fresh beer

Which would you prefer? I’d prefer the “Oh!” Enlightenment of a menu is what you should expect at establishments. No matter if they focus on one dish or 20. Simple tasty selections, beer and food alike are requisite to a successful business.

Ask questions as a patron, be sure that the staff knows you’re interested in what’s available, that you care where your dollars go and you’re eager to try different things.

If you get the “oh.” Sensation, it’s time to remove yourself from the premises. You work hard for your money, yes? Then expect the establishments you support to work for your dollar.

Question, request, and ask. Demand clean glassware (hint: all beers should come to you with a head, it’s an indicator of a clean glass of well poured beer). You wouldn’t want to eat off dirty dishes, right?

Look around, decide whom you support and then do it. The ones who are in earnest, who understand passion + business acumen = success will help the entire community benefit. And your taste buds will thank you.

Til the next glass ~


Go Here: Do a simple online search of “brewpubs” – find a few and go visit one you’ve not yet been to. Look around, sip, taste and enjoy. If you truly enjoy it, make it a point to tell the service staff and management. If you found it lacking, make it a point to diplomatically tell the service staff and management. I highly recommend Falling Sky when you’re in Eugene, OR.

Try This: beer and food are naturals together. Be sure to take a bite of food, chomp a few times, and then sip the beer while you still have food in your mouth. Chew more, move it all about to get the best sensory experience. You’re going to discover new combinations to love. has tuns of articles on beer and food.

If you have questions about the beer industry, food pairings, speaking engagements and events, you can find Ginger at or

All Articles by Ginger Johnson



About Karie Giffin (825 Articles)
Sisters in Craft Magazine is a community lifestyle magazine for Witches.

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