On Thursday, October 3 and Friday, October 4 the Brewers Association invites 24 chefs and 24 brewers from around the world to team up to create an unforgettable culinary experience at the Great American Beer Festival – PAIRED. The sold-out event will take place in addition to the general GABF festivities and pairs each chef with a brewer to create unique and tasty food and beer combinations that will excite your taste buds.
PAIRED has been a part of the festival for around 10 years and has grown immensely since the first year. Brewers Association chef Adam Dulye said that the first year staff had to convince attendees in the main part of the festival to come to the event, “we had to tell people we were doing beer and food and lead them over to our space,” he said.
Now that the event has become more popular, the Brewers Association is able to build out a space where the chefs can come to cook and not be limited. The goal is to allow the chefs to create amazing dishes without limitations to get people to try new things and step out of their comfort zone. “If you see a beer you like but it’s paired with something you wouldn’t normally eat or vice versa, we encourage you to try it out,” stated Dulye.
One of the other unique aspects of PAIRED is that guests actually get to speak with the chef who prepares their meal. “It’s becoming few and far between where you’ll actually be served by the person who created the dish,” stated Dulye. “One of the things we go for is at each table the chef that designed the dish and the brewer will be there. They’re more than just a person serving you,” he said. Dulye encourages guests to not only try new things but to speak with the chefs and brewers and learn about the ingredients and how they envision the pairing to taste.
One of the unique collaborations you can expect at PAIRED is Allagash Brewing Company’s Barrel + Bean coffee beer paired with The Bear and Star’s cocoa crusted tuna loin and pickled green mango salad from chef John Cox. Another distinct combination from Denver chef Alex Seidel of Mercantile and Lawson’s Finest Liquids includes a chicken liver mousse tartlet, whipped maple gastrique and black pepper combined with a maple Trippel – an oak-aged maple ale. Maybe one of the most exotic dishes on the menu hails all the way from Australia. Matt Wilkinson of Pope Joan brings a kangaroo chipolata with wattleseed and mountain pepper sauce combined with an imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels from West Sixth Brewing.
You may not be able to consume all 48 dishes at PAIRED but as long as you arrive with an open mind and empty stomach you can expect to be satisfied and thrilled by the time you leave.
PAIRED at GABF starts at 5:30 p.m. on October 3 and October 4 and is located at the Colorado Convention Center at 700 14th St., Denver.