From niche to mainstream, or how craft beers have become a distinguishing feature of the offer in restaurants.

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From niche to mainstream, or how craft beers have become a distinguishing feature of the offer in restaurants.

Posted on 30/08/2021

For several years, we have been observing how more and more restaurant are building their offer around their own raw materials and drink production. One of the reasons of the growing popularity of craft production is the growing public awareness of natural and ecological products. Craft beers, as discussed in this article, are often low in calories and alcohol, and at the same time have a distinct flavor. This trend is strengthened by the fact that we increasingly value personalized and unique products, created locally from scratch. Such an element helps the restaurant to stand out on the market, add an extra value in their offer.

Concern or craft beers - what are the differences?

Let's start by figuring out the difference between the two. Concern breweries are those that produce millions of hectoliters of beer yearly, are commonly present on store and bar shelves, focused primarily on large volumes and matching the taste expectations of mass consumers. Lager beers dominate here, but along with the growing fashion for craft beers, we can observe the appearance of IPA and APA beers on the market shelves.

Craft beer is often brewed in small local breweries. They are primarily characterized by diversity and the willingness to experiment with the taste and aroma of the drink. Each small brewery focuses on extracting few unique types of beer - thanks to this, we can get to know such flavors as Witbier, LAMBIK, Gueuze, Pils, English Pale Ale.

Why more and more restaurants are introducing craft beer to their offer?

Craft beers can be a good solution for restaurants and bars, due to its features as many of them are not pasteurized, most often they are locally produced by a brewer, not a machine, and fast industrial methods are not used during production. Unfortunately, this often comes along with a short term validity of the beer, but at the same time adds exclusivity to the gastronomic offer. Some establishments go a step further and decide to cooperate with craft breweries and produce craft beers under their own brand. "In our brewery, we produce more and more brands, the so-called Private Label just for owners of companies from the HoReCa industry. These are different types of brands, from the most premium, where the beer goes to a prestigious restaurant, to the great cooperation with pizza or burger places, creating  their brands of beers using proven beer styles, such as pils or wheat, which are perfect for hot days." says Agnieszka Łapaj, the owner of the Jan's Craft Breweries, in an interview with the portal ouichef.pl

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Beerpairing - the art of combining flavors

Foodpairing is the art of combining flavors, that often consists of composing flavors that seemingly do not match each other. Creating an excellent menu with the beer pairing option (combining specific beers and food) in result may not only increase your business profits, but also give you an advantage over the competition.

Brewers Association presented three basic principles that should be applied during Beerpairing:

1. Combine strength with strength - light dishes go best with light beers, and complex-flavored dishes require stronger beers - this is no surprise. The taste is influenced by many factors, in beer it is the percentage of alcohol, bitterness of the malt, and the way of fermentation. In food, fat and spices are mainly responsible for the taste.

2. Find harmony - the balance of tastes and smells is the key to successful pairing. The nutty taste of English Style Ale and Cheddar cheese, notes of roasted coffee in Imperial Stout and chocolate truffles, caramel Oktoberfest Lager and roasted pork neck - these are just a few examples.

3. Take into account not only the taste, but also the texture of the dishes - certain textures of food and beer interact with each of them in a different, specific, but not always predictable way. Some cane make a perfect duo, others can form an explosive mixture. Foods that have a lot of fat and sugar go well with beers with hop bitterness, sweetness, notes of roasted malt and high alcohol content. Carbonization of beer will also balance fatty foods. The sweetness of malt perfectly cools you down, so if you have spicy dishes on your menu, suggest combining them with malty beers (Stout, IPA)

Here are some examples of Beerpairing with Aviko Appetizers:

Lager - these beers have a classic, non-overwhelming taste, so they can be really versatile, the level of carbonization perfectly suits lighter dishes, such as salads or cheeses. Combine them with Tomato Mozzarella Bites or Mozzarella Fingers for a tasty combination.

Amber lager is much more refreshing due to its high carbonation, but also much heavier, and goes well with stronger flavors such as blue cheese or beef stew. Amber lager could perfectly match the set of tapas and snacks, but in particular with Aviko Onion Rings and Jalapeño Snacks

Wheat beer is often sweet with floral notes, and perfectly matches with herbs, spices and fresh vegetables. Consider to serve with dishes seasoned with parsley or coriander, such as tabbouleh salad, chimichurri, or salsa verde. Aviko Spicy Sweet Corn Bites will also be an ideal addition to wheat beer.

India pale ale (IPA) - IPA's intense citrus hops makes it the perfect companion for spicy, sweet and fatt foods. Grilled dishes or spicy wings will work well with the bitter aromas present in IPA. Aviko Habanero Cheese Nuggets and Cheesy Black Nuggets have a distinctive look and a surprisingly spicy flavor that would be perfect for an IPA.

American pale ales (APA) with slightly less hops than IPA, but with a more malty finish, APA goes well with mature cheeses and grilled meats, so it's made for a burger. Another American classic ideal for these beers would be Aviko Mac & Cheese Triangles.

Porter or Stout beer - dark in color and deep in taste, porters and stouts can be creamy, sweet and with a hint of chocolate, or as bitter as coffee. This combination of subtle scents goes well with smoked, slow-cooked dishes such as roast pork neck. Serve it with Grip'n Dip fries and homemade sauce and your guests will be delighted.

Fruit beers - light and fresh, filled with juicy fruit taste and often a bit of botanical notes, are perfect for seafood, salads or light cheeses. Caesar salad with chicken or prawns can be the perfect companion for such a beer. In the WEGE version, serve a salad with Philadelphia Crispy Snacks.

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