Friday, March 26, 2010

Historic Beer and Avant Garde Pizza

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.


Deborah Duchon said...

Thanks to everyone that took part in a fun tasting. I did have one correction to Deb's nice write up. Orval Trappist Ale is not pasteurized. In fact this beer has active yeast put in the bottle which produces natural carbonization. One of the many fun facts about this wonderful beer.

Rob Nelson - Southeast Regional Manager
Marchant du Vin

Deborah Duchon said...

Rob sent me that follow-up comment - I just forwarded it!

Ana Raquel said...

It was a fun and educational culinary experience!!! Thanks Deb for putting together such a great event:-)
Ana Raquel

thetravellingminstrel said...

for some reason i seem to remember that La Trappe is the only belgian beer thats pasteurized. i used to reproduce the yeast strains from all the different belgium beers to experiment with.