Champagne bottles filled with gourmet beer to be paired with fine dining cuisine

Carlsberg has developed gourmet beer that is bottled in champagne bottles and meant to be paired with high-end gastronomy. — AFP pic
Carlsberg has developed gourmet beer that is bottled in champagne bottles and meant to be paired with high-end gastronomy. — AFP pic

COPENHAGEN, Feb 8 — Gourmet beer is being brewed, aged and bottled in champagne bottles as part of a gastronomic experiment that aims to create a beer worthy of a Michelin-starred meal.

Danish beermaker Carlsberg teamed up with researchers at the culinary think tank Nordic Food Lab at the University of Copenhagen to develop a high-end beer designed to be paired with experimental gastronomy on the Danish restaurant scene.

After nearly five years of experimenting with new raw materials, methods and sensory profiles, researchers have come up with a new cask-conditioned Jacobsen Chanterelle Lager and Jacobsen Sour Rye.

Jacobsen refers to Carlsberg’s founder JC Jacobsen and his son Carl Jacobsen.

Both beers have undergone primary fermentation; cellaring in new casks made of different types of wood; a final bottle conditioning in champagne bottles; and are stored in Carlsberg’s cellars circa 1847.

All beers are over 10 percent ABV to maximize vintage cellaring and are naturally carbonated with small champagne-mimicking bubbles for a more pleasant experience in the mouth and stomach.

“There’s a big difference between making good specialty beer and making eminent beer that has excellent cellaring potential,” said Michael Bom Frøst, associate professor and director, Nordic Food Lab in a statement.

“Our contribution to the project is our unique specialist knowledge of Nordic raw materials and our gastronomic approach to research. With all the science and craft, there are lots of opportunities for creating more fantastic and innovative products in the elite category.”

New Nordic beer

The first of the two beers, Jacobsen Chanterelle Lager will be served exclusively at the Michelin-starred Ti Trin Ned (which means Ten Steps Down in Danish) in Frederica in Jutland, Denmark.

In line with the tenets of New Nordic cuisine, the restaurant showcases seasonal, local and foraged ingredients.

“Creating a dish that harmonizes with and supports the special beer’s character and taste notes has been a big challenge,” adds Mette Gassner, restaurant manager at Ti Trin Ned and member of the National Culinary Team of Denmark.

“Without compromising on our personal cuisine and seasonal ingredients, we’ve adapted and refined the starter...and every evening we closely monitor our guests’ reactions. It’s a fun, unusual and interesting surprise when Chanterelle Lager is served.”

The high-end beers are produced in small batches of 500 bottles, for the use of fine dining restaurants.

Meanwhile, Carlsberg is not the first to try to create a gastronomic-grade beer.

Barcelona-based brewer Estrella Damm partnered with world famous Spanish chef Ferran Adrià to develop Inedit, a beer created specifically to accompany fine dining fare, flavored with coriander, orange peel and licorice.

And French chef Joel Robuchon teamed up with Japanese beer empire Sapporo Brewery to create a brew that would pair well with fancy French cuisine. The Robuchon-branded beer is made with malt from France’s Champagne region. — AFP-Relaxnews

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