Those on the breadline live a bread and cheese existence unable to break bread with others or even to fill their hungry breadbaskets. Unless, that is, a breadwinner knows which side his bread is buttered on and decides to use his loaf and cast his bread upon the water. Such a bread and butter way of life can be brightened by the bread and circuses of popular entertainment – without doubt the greatest things since sliced bread – yet entertainment always seems to cost a lot of bread, and one cannot help but feel that some people are only able to earn a crust by taking the bread out of one’s mouth.
(From Schott’s Food & Drink Miscellany / Bread in Idiom)
My dad called beer ‘a bottle of bread’ and it precisely how I think of it: a drink that makes me feel as though I have overeaten. It also tends to make me drunk, so I avoid drinking it and only occasionally cook with it and – as a result – I know very little about it, which made the beer & food pairing workshop at the Indaba all the more interesting.
We were given a brief history of beer (it dates as far back as the 6th millennium BC) and learned the differences between making different beers. Our speaker was obviously enchanted with his subject; he waved his arms in rapture as we tasted the beers with the food supplied by the SAB-appointed caterers. It seems that beer pairing is not much different to wine pairing; colour and weight are the key things to consider.
I’m glad I attended this workshop, but I was not converted to being a beer disciple; my goodie bag bottle of milk stout will have to wait until winter, when I will use it in a nice beef stew.