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Suds up

Chefs hop onto the artisan beer bandwagon

Author Christian DeBenedetti

Brewmaster Morten Ibsen

Brewmaster Morten Ibsen

As the white-hot craft beer boom rages on, some of the world’s top chefs have realized they might be the most qualified people around to do the brewing. Over the last year, big-name toques from all over the world have paired with industrial beer makers to launch heavily researched vanity pints for both commercial release and serving in their restaurants. Michelin-starred French chef Joël Robuchon, for instance, released a lightly sweet and caramel-flavored Sapporo brew made with malt from the Champagne region and spicy Nelson Sauvin hops earlier this year. More recently, Chicago’s reigning king of haute Mexican food, Rick Bayless, announced plans with Crown Imports LLC (of Corona fame) to bring an as-yet-unnamed Latin-inflected brew to market sometime next year. The adventurous Nordic Food Lab, affiliated with Copenhagen’s Noma, meanwhile, announced a collaboration with mega brewer Carlsberg’s high-end Jacobsen line. Brewmaster Morten Ibsen told the Wall Street Journal he planned to experiment with bee larvae, seaweed, woodruff and pulverized cucumber, among other things. There are no plans as of yet to get really experimental, but with chefs at the helm, it may be only a matter of time before you can get your beer and appetizers in the same can.

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