On thursday April 10th of 2010, Mexico witnessed the first battle between Wine and Craft Beer at Pujol Restaurant, ranked 72 amongst the 100 best restaurants in the world, and for us without any doubt is one of them, because is one of the few places that have a "Beer Menu" that can pair along with their dishes.
This first event took almost one year from its conception to the realization; we did a first approach to the restaurant and come up with the event, after a few months of evaluation they accepted it. An appointment was made with Sommelier Marianna Ramírez and Primus Brewmaster (that would be Me) to try the 6 course proposal of Chef Enrique Olvera.
Each one took their notes about flavors and textures experimented. During this time only water was served, this way we wouldn’t have any reference. At the end a deadline was established to decide which brew or wine was chosen, this way you could get them since not all can be found in Mexico. When the deadline arrived, an invitation to friends and clients were made, and finally the ones who showed up where the judges of this competition.
The appetizer – Soursop and Pear “"Tepache"
1st Round – "Aguachile" of octopus with seaweed
2nd Round – "Huarache" of Kobe Beef
3rd Round – "Tortilla" Soup
Rosé Coco Vs Stone Arrogant Bastard (3 fotos)
4th Round – White Snook "al pastor"
5th Round Suckling pig "Carnitas"
6th Round – Nitrogenated Chocolate Mousse
The development of this battle was a unique experiment, because at the same time the judges were deliberating, behind the curtains we were doing the same. Each Wine and Craft Beer maintained a close relation with the course, on the 1st round we both wanted citric notes, on the 2nd wooden flavors, on the 3rd strong flavors to balance the dish, on the 4th harmony between beverage and dish, on the 5th one wanted harmony and the other one contrast and on the 6th fruity notes.
There were 12 judges on this battle, only on the last 2 rounds we had an extra judge that arrived late, because of Mexico City’s finest traffic.
The results were these:
This 2 ties and 2 winning for each needed a Champion, so we counted each vote to see which had the most points, surprisingly it all ended on a Technical Tie between the contenders.
For us this Technical Tie is a great result, since we know (and demonstrated it) that Craft Beer is at the same level of Wine, it is just a matter of having diversity of Beer styles produced in Mexico or Imported, all of them giving a proposal and an experience, in other words, NOT more of the same.
The truth to be told is that we never challenged Wine against Craft Beer, the actual battle was between Beer against the idea of what people have about Beer. We strongly believe that this event changed the perception of some people about it and we warn that this kind of battles are still going to be held, so feel free to publish this information with your friends and media for future events or reference.