I’m not sure if you’ve figured this out yet but as I meet people like Jason Pratt or go to facilities that make local olive oil or coffee beans, I start to realize how important product and knowning your product to a T is. Jason Pratt runs beer education at MillerCoors and is one of only 11 Master Cicerones in the world. He leads a team of five regional trade brewers plus one who works with their national accounts. A few of us had the chance to meet Jason and hear him speak on MillerCoors a couple weeks ago at a special pairing dinner. The drinks were all provided by MillerCoors and the food was skillfully paired by Chef Cullen Campbell of Okra. What a treat we were in for. As the guests arrived at Okra and began to fill in the tables, trays of bites began to wander around the room and tempt us and so did the array of beers to be tasted with them. We had a chance to start with Miller High Life, Peroni, Coors Banquet, Coors Light and Crispin Original.
As the dinner began to get underway, Jason explained to us a bit more about himself and what makes him a trade brewer. He got in the business as a yeast and fermentation scientist but others have joined the group that were pro brewers; some were homebrewers, chefs, sommeliers and beer buyers. He explained that, “It’s a unique position to hire for. We look for passionate beer experts with a commercial mindset — people who can use their knowledge of all things beer in a way that helps market and sell it.” Sounds like a great job to us, don’t you think! You could feel his passion emminate from him as he spoke on eaching beer prior to each course coming out. I think just hearing him tell us a little bit of his knowledge, helped us, as guests, be able to expand our pallete. I heard dinnermates stating how they could taste flavors in the food being brought out by the flavor notes in the beer.
I feel like there might be a stigma that when you want to pair a fancy dinner with something to drink, it would need to be cocktails or wine. This dinner and experience would prove that theory wrong. For more information you can always check out MillerCoors here: www.millercoors.com
BBQ Schreiners Bologna
Hoe Cakes, Pimento Cheez
Chz Straw, Pepper Jam, Ham Powder
Beers: Miller High Life, Peroni, Coors Banquet, Coors Light, Crispin Original
Pickled white shrimp, grilled celery hearts, arkansas caviar, buttermilk sauce
Blue Moon Belgian White
“Meat & 3”
Chicken fried octopus, cornbread puree, mac n chz, kimchi greens
Grilled pork collar & cabbage, pork rinds, fennel pollen, chow chow
Canned biscuit doughnut, malted peanut butter, fried bananas
Henry’s Hard Cherry Cola