Stepping up the game: A conversation about beer and food with Bar Isabel’s Guy Rawlings

Bar Isabel

Appropriately, when I first try to contact Guy Rawlings, he’s busy hoarding beer.

The self-proclaimed “General Manager in a chef’s body” has just learned that Les Trois Mousquetaires’ Hors Serie Gose, part of the LCBO’s long-delayed 2014 summer beer release, has finally hit store shelves and he’s loading up. When I reach him, he’s pushing a shopping cart full of the stuff, having just cleaned out the Dundas and Dovercourt location of the liquor store, and he’s juggling a cell phone trying to get his haul home.

“Sorry,” he says. “Can I call you back?”

His ability to seek out (and covet) good beer is one of the reasons I want to talk to Rawlings.

A chef by trade, Rawlings’ name has been attached to a handful of the city’s best restaurants in the last few years including the Black Hoof, the now-closed Lucien, the also-now-closed Brockton General, and Room 203, his own “event space and food lab” where he threw intimate, multi-course, private dinners featuring elaborate, collaborative and foraged menus. Continue reading “Stepping up the game: A conversation about beer and food with Bar Isabel’s Guy Rawlings”

When it comes to beer, all that really matters is taste

"They really should have served this in a stange."
“They really should have served this in a stange.”

Obviously I like the process of making great beer.

I appreciate the effort that goes into the act of making beer, the attention to details, the thought that goes into choosing the right ingredients, the adherence to traditional styles or conversely the use of innovative new techniques.

I have an appreciation of the work that goes into making good beer.

However, I feel it needs to be said that none of that shit actually matters.

All that really matters is taste.

You can worship at the altar of the beer-making gods, study techniques and principles of brewing and find new and crazy ways to forward the art of beverage crafting, but unless you can put your pint of beer in front of someone who will say “That’s a good beer,”….who cares? Continue reading “When it comes to beer, all that really matters is taste”