Beer. Food. Yes.
By Natalie Lozano Trimble
Photography by Ron Jenkins
Brewer Shannon Carter gets ready to tutor on pairing beer, food at upcoming Main Street Fest
If you’re headed to May’s Main Street Fest in downtown Grapevine, don’t wait to grab a ticket to Brews & Bites. Shannon Carter of Shannon Brewing Co. and Chef Fabien Goury of Main Street Bakery will be leading three 75-minute workshops to educate participants on how to pair beer with food. Each event will be limited to 40 people, allowing for an intimate learning and tasting experience.
Participants will try four official pairings, plus an introductory pour of an Irish red ale, “an icebreaker beer, if you will,” says Carter, served with a bonus bite: a sausage wrapped in puff pastry. The Irish red ale is a fitting signature beer given that Shannon’s grandfather was also a brewer who hailed from Ireland’s County Galway. “It’s kind of what we’re known for,” Carter says.
Determining which beers and foods should be paired was a very easy process, according to Carter, because he and Goury have “a like-minded approach to food and beverage. We just started collaborating on what flavors we wanted to have and got very excited.”
Although this is his first pairing with Goury, Carter is not new to the art of combining beer with food that complements it. “We do them at the brewery all the time. Most recently, we did a beer and charcuterie and cheesecake with Craft + Vine” in Roanoke.
“I’m a little bit of a foodie, been brewing beer for 25 years, and so, I love to pair beer with food,” Carter says. “It’s a passion.” During the workshop, he will use his expertise to guide participants through the essentials of selecting beers that work with a variety of food. The four beers showcase a diversity of craft beer flavor profiles: blonde, wheat, hazy IPA and stout.
This will be the brewery’s first appearance at Grapevine’s annual craft beer event. “The CVB [Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau] has been really amazing to work with,” Carter says of the organization, which fostered his collaboration with Goury, who owns three restaurants downtown: Main Street Bakery, Chez Fabien and Piaf.
What sets Shannon Brewery apart? More than 50 breweries will be participating in the festival, including 40 from Texas, but only one sits on the oldest documented spring in Texas. When Carter decided to leave a successful graphic design career and open a brewery, he wanted access to this water.
If you want an extra incentive to join in, Carter is also unveiling a new hazy IPA at Main Street called Love ‘N Haze. It will be “super juicy, fruit-forward, really nice aromatics, floral citrus flavor on the tongue, not too bitter on the finish” and will be available at the pairing and Craft Beer Experience, he says.
To purchase tickets to Beer & Bites and Main Street Fest, head to grapevinetexasusa.com. If you miss the workshops, you can catch an upcoming pairing at Shannon Brewery.