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Monday, January 18, 2010

California Craft Brewers Represent at the Fancy Food Show

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 1:25 PM

click to enlarge Firestone-Walker Brewing's Brandon Borgel, part of the California brewski cointingent. - B. YAEGER
  • B. Yaeger
  • Firestone-Walker Brewing's Brandon Borgel, part of the California brewski cointingent.
For three days (Jan. 17-19), Moscone Center is so full of munchies, it's like a stoner's wet dream. The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) is in the midst of producing the 35th Winter Fancy Food Show. And for the first time, the Brewers Association (BA) is one of the 1,100-plus exhibitors.

An eye-popping, mind-blowing amount of snacks and any kind of foodstuffs that can be nibbled, dipped, baked, grilled, or slathered are handed out for buyers throughout the country and beyond. So, too, is beer. Ten American craft breweries are participating, including five from California (21st Amendment, Anderson Valley Brewing, Firestone-Walker Brewing, Lagunitas Brewing, and Stone Brewing) along with Boston Beer Co. (makers of Sam Adams), Brewery Ommegang (N.Y.), Dogfish Head Brewery (Del.), Kona Brewing (Hi.), and Rogue Ales (Ore.).

The BA's Mark Snyder, manager of its Export Development Program, told us the Fancy Food Show gives craft brewers a chance to harvest new accounts among restaurant buyers. Judging from the crowd surrounding the booth quaffing nearly 40 beers yesterday -- from Rogue's new Chatoe Dirtoir (sic), a black lager brewed with the company's estate-grown hops and barley that pairs well with spicy foods, to Samuel Adams Utopias, a style-warping, 27 percent ABV beer akin to an after-dinner glass of cognac -- it seems that attendees already know beer is fancy food.

Brian Yaeger is the author of Red, White, and Brew: An American Beer Odyssey and blogs at beerodyssey.com; follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie

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