09 May 2008

R Bistro/Three Floyds beer dinner follow up: Neal from L'Explorateur weighs in

After posting my thoughts on the recent Three Floyd's/R Bistro beer dinner, I left a comment on the blog of Chef Neal Brown of L'Explorateur, seeking out his thoughts on the differences between his Indiana Craft Beer Symposium and the Three Floyds dinner.

Neal was kind enough to weigh in with his thoughts on his blog, Babelfish Tartare. He points out the difficulties in working with a distributor when doing a beer dinner, and gives a nice bit of insight into the whole process. It's easier to appreciate and understand the difficulties in putting together a beer dinner when given some background.

One point Neal makes: "American beers, in my opinion are way to assertive to be very food friendly...Three Floyds being an excellent example."

I'm not sure I agree with him there. Hopefully he can join us for a roundtable sometime, when I think we could prove that American beer has the ability to work just as well as those from out of country.


  1. I would grant him that SOME American beers are too assertive to easily pair with food. But by no means is it fair to make a broad generalization about all American beers. I could rattle off a good list of breweries and specific beers that are wonderfully complex and assertive enough to stand on their own, but also able to pair well with food without overpowering the experience.

  2. Hell Yes! Lets go drink some beer!

    You guys know how to reach me! This sounds like an awesome opportunity! The only thing I like more than watching lightbulbs flash on in other peoples eyes is being able to feel them flashing on in my own!

    Consider your invitation, enthusiastically accepted.

  3. I'm a little surprised by the generalizations made here given that Neal wasn't even at the dinner. I think that there are some good points to be made, but as a beer distributor who would love to see more restaurateurs hosting their own beer dinners. I'm disappointed that very few of them take the opportunity to do them. At the same time, it’s hard to swing a dead cat without hitting a wine dinner.

    There are some beer distributors who know a decent bit about beer and we’d love to team up with restaurateurs who would like to do beer dinners. And we’re more than happy for those same restaurants to take the lead on those dinners, but our phones are not exactly ringing off the hook for them, despite the increasing consumer demand for better beer.

    I'm not saying that Neal doesn't put on an exceptional dinner, but I think it's silly to suggest that a decent distributor would place restrictions on a restaurants ability to host a good beer dinner.

    Bob Mack - World Class Beverages