March 23, 2010
Varasano's Pizza and Marchant du Vin teamed up to host the best pizza & beer night ever. We enjoyed beers that had been made by small, European breweries for hundreds of years Each of which was paired with just-the-right slice. Thirty-five intrepid culinary historians braved Atlanta rush hour traffic to descend on Varasano's Pizzeria on Peachtree Road in Buckhead, to enjoy the feast and the fine company. The beers included: Zatec (Czech Republic), Orval (Belgium) and Samuel Smith (England). The pizzas were off-the-menu specials designed by Jeff Varasano, but were twists on regular menu items, including Varasano's signature pizza, Nana's Favorite, and the outstanding Salumi & Sun-Dried Tomatoes.
Our resident historic beer expert, Rob Nelson, Regional Sales Manager for Marchant du Vin, entertained us with the stories of these small breweries. For example, the Orval is made by Trappist monks, just as they've made beer since the Middle Ages, but with updated techniques, including pasteurization. They make it primarily for themselves (they water it down for their own consumption) but it also provides an income for the monastery. Until modern sanitation came along, beer was safer than water, so it was an important beverage for everyone, including children.