The US Brewers Association has appointed an executive chef as it steps up efforts to promote the value and compatibility of craft beer and cuisine.
Julia Herz, the association’s craft beer program director, last week acknowledged the appointment of chef Adam Dulye was a “unique move for an association”.
“[But] it’s a natural extension to what we’re doing as an organisation,” she told media at the Craft Brewers Conference in Portland.
“You’re going to start to see more beer-minded chefs out there as this cultural shift continues to take hold and the beverage of beer advances, as it continues to do,” said Herz.
“Craft beer is helping beer reclaim its place at the dinner table. We want those who lead in food to be as empowered in beer as they are in other beverages.”
No more ‘burgers and beers’
US brewery restaurants have gone beyond the pub model and are thinking of beer as an integrated ingredient, added Bart Watson, the association’s staff economist.
“You see people who are crafting their beers much like they are their recipes… thinking about them as menu items that pair with their food,” he told jounalists.
“We’re seeing breweries put in types of restaurants that didn’t occur before. I think I saw breweries attached to Mexican restaurants, Thai restaurants, sushi places, you name it.”
Watson said brewpubs “had really broadened beyond a place that had a brewery out the back and burgers out the front”.
He added that about 50 per cent of the brewery restaurants that had ever opened in the US since the late 1970s were still open, while in the broader restaurant industry, 60 per cent of restaurants closed in the first three years.
“Clearly there’s a lot of value added to the brewery restaurant through that brewery component and the synergies that exist between having beer and food,” he said.