Ben's Beer Blog

A place for all things beer.


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Food and Beer, the book

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On the short list of things I’m really enthusiastic about, beer, food, and books all rank fairly highly.

That’s why I was pretty excited to check out a review of copy of the book “Food & Beer,” by Daniel Burns, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø,and Joshua David Stein.

Burns and Jarnit-Bjergsø share space in Brooklyn where their respective attached homes, Luksus and Tørst, elevate beer to the status it deserves as they pair it with both casual food and fine dining in two environments that rank among the coolest places to drink a beer I’ve ever seen. Tørst is humbly self-described as a neighborhood bar, but it is in fact a barnboard, white-marble, and mirrored shrine to good beer where serious beer enthusiasts come to drink from Tørst’s custom wine glasses and beer is the only beverage served. Essentially, Jarnit-Bjergsø is overseeing the physical embodiment of the happy place from my dream journal (Incidentally Jarnit-Bjergsø is also the evil twin who founded Evil Twin Brewing).

Daniel Burns oversees the menu of casual fare at Tørst where, at the back of the bar is a “secret” door leading to Luksus, a 16-seat tasting menu restaurant that Burns helms, where diners are “transported to a Nordic-inspired evening, influenced by the chef’s time in England and America, and his childhood in Nova Scotia.” Each dish at Luksus is paired exclusively with beer chosen by Jarnit-Bjergsø. Wine and cocktails are not available. Because fuckin’ eh, man.

Burns and  Jarnit-Bjergsø have written this book with Joshua David Stein (the food critic for New York Observer) and, as you might have guessed by the flurry of credentials I’ve already thrown at you, the book is dope, as the kids say. Continue reading


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Making the connection: Talking beer and food with Crystal Luxmore

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Crystal Luxmore is a Toronto-based beer writer whose work has appeared in The Toronto Star, Toronto Life, Chatelaine, The Walrus, The New York Times, CBC and msn.ca and she was the “Hopped Up” columnist for what was easily Toronto’s best weekly magazine, The Grid (RIP).

She’s also a Certified Cicerone and a Prud’homme Beer Sommelier.

Accordingly, it’s safe to say she knows a thing or two about beer. This month, as part of my ongoing efforts to explore the relationship between dining and beer, I chatted with Crystal via email about beer, food, and why beer isn’t afforded the same respect as wine–yet.

Ben Johnson: As a cicerone and prud’homme certified beer sommelier, do you put a lot of thought into beer and food pairings when you’re dining at home or eating out?

Crystal Luxmore: I do, but I don’t sweat it too much. At home, I see what’s in my beer and main fridge, and usually choose the best possible match from what’s already chilled once dinner is ready. At a restaurant, I do think about it, but sometimes I’m more interested in trying a new one-off than finding the perfect match for my burger. Luckily with beer, it’s so versatile and easy to pair that if you’ve got great food and a great pint, you’ll be satisfied.

BJ: I feel like once you start paying attention to what beers work with what foods, you can’t NOT pay attention. It’s like a new level of snobbery when I’m with friends. First it was, “oh don’t drink that.” Now if I say, “well don’t drink THAT with THAT” I feel like I’m going to get punched in the head.

CL: Yeah. I would punch you in the face if you told me that. Taste is subjective and everyone’s palate is different, so what you think is right, is right—but only for you. Continue reading