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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Notes from Saturday's Suds and Sweets Pairing at Thorough Bread and Pastry

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 5:17 PM

TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
Raj Dev is a banker by day and a certified sommelier ― well, not even by night, but just for the passion of it. Dev occasionally collaborates with wife Erin Bailey, vice president of the San Francisco Baking Institute, to host Suds and Sweets events, featuring beer and dessert pairings at SFBI's retail bakery Thorough Bread and Pastry. We checked out one such event last weekend.

click to enlarge Raj Dev. - TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
  • Raj Dev.
Dev told us he shied away from American beers when putting the pairings together (with pastry chef Boris Portnoy), since their high hop content skews bitter. Besides, he said, he had fun geeking out on Belgian and German offerings considered obscure or rare, though he found many at SOMA's City Beer Store.

So do beer and pastry go together? We'd say yes. And no, sometimes, but we appreciated the contrasts almost as much as the similarities in Dev's selections. Certain ones created a special alchemy. Floris Apple, a Witbier ale, intensified the caramel notes in a delicate napoleon, for instance, while Samichlaus Helles, a Doppelbock lager, spiced up the apples in a galette. Even when the alchemy didn't happen, Suds and Sweets was a unique educational experience well worth discovering.

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Tamara Palmer

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