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.


36 thoughts on “A BOTTLE OF BREAD

  1. I have a dear friend who with one beer is fine, two she sings songs, and three…I’m trying to get her off the table. 🙂 Some people’s biological system just cannot handle beer.

  2. Beer reminds me of the smell of adolescent boys! hahaha …. i may drink a beer shandy (ducks to avoid the stones being hurled by the ‘beer brigade” if i have been playing sport and am hoooooot as hell!!!! Have a great weekend Cinds xxx jan

  3. I liked beer in Eurpoe where you could get a nice small glass of draft beer, just enough to feel full, without having to drink a whole can size.

    All that bread stuff, I felt stuffed just reading it

  4. I’m not a beer drinker (except for the odd glass of shandy on a really hot day) and especially dislike the last bit in the bottle – warm, bitter and flat. Urgh.

  5. Thank you for all your fabulous writings about fbi2011. Am enjoying reading them from the delegates perspective. I would have liked to attend this workshop as I know dangerously little about beer….and definitely have no knowledge of beer and food pairing. That was a very clever description of your dad’s re beer. Hugs and love, it was fabulous seeing you again Cindy xx

  6. I’m a huge beer fan & an even bigger beer food pairing fanatic….. there are so many excellent beers made in this country I doubt I’d ever be able to drink my way through them all 🙂

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