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 Comments Add yours

  1. gospelwriter says:

    I’ve never been a beer drinker; can’t imagine that’s gonna change any time soon… always nice to learn about different ‘cultures’ though 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ll just stick with wine 🙂

  2. nrhatch says:

    I like beer ~ pilsners and ales . . . not dark stouts or guinness.

    I find that most beers pair nicely with pretzels. 🙂

    1. nrhatch says:

      Yes. Beer drinkers cannot live by pretzels alone. They needs nuts too!

      Peanuts . . . or even beer nuts.

      1. theonlycin says:

        *Off to Google beer nuts*

  3. for some reason, the words “beer” and “belly” always seem to chase each other.
    your words sure flow cindy girl.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I also think fat tummy and beer 🙂

  4. slpmartin says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      hahaha, she sounds a scream, Charlie. Sleep tight 🙂

  5. 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

    1. theonlycin says:

      You too, Jan, enjoy 🙂 xxx

  6. 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

    1. theonlycin says:

      I agree, enjoyed the little glasses of berry beers in Germany.

  7. Madmom says:

    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.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Eeeuw, you’re right!

  8. leigh says:

    I cant beer it 😉

  9. Tilly Bud says:

    I love your Dad’s turn of phrase. A wonderful description of beer.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I miss him so much 😦

  10. Who would have thought – food and beer pairing.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re never too old to learn, eh? 🙂 xxx

  11. fbi2011 says:

    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

    1. theonlycin says:

      Pity we go to spend so little time together. I hope to be down in CT again soon, hope we can have a nice long visit together.

  12. 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 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s a subject I’d like to explore a bit more, but I am afraid of the hangovers 😉

  13. The quote?…what breadth. Tsk!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Bwahahaha! Clever, Amy 🙂

  14. im a sucker for a corona, i thought the lime was just to flavour rather than keep the flies out!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I also quite like Corona, not sure if we can still get it in SA.

  15. Love to use beer in my chili. The only time I use it. A special wheat-free beer.

    Sounds like Indaba was fun.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It was a tremendously fun experience 🙂

  16. Mmm, food cooked in beer. Heaven.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hahaha, thought you’d like it!

  17. Tokeloshe says:

    I love Stout 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Funny, I did too, as a child and then lost the taste for it.

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