My after-school job in high school--back when the Dead Sea was just sick and there was no history-- was stocking shelves in the local A&P. I used to think the A&P was a pretty big store, especially when I had to mop the aisles. But compared to a modern Wegman's, my old A&P looks like a corner bodega. Not that there's anything wrong with that....
If you've ever been in one, you know that Wegman's puts the "Super" in supermarket. Looking like a self-enclosed city, it's almost stupefying to see the choices that are offered to the consumer. If a guy buys his groceries in Walmart, it might be considered a tad pricey, though.
However, if one of the reasons for slightly higher prices is quality, well, then what's wrong with that? That maxim applies to beer, too. You want better beer? Ante up a bit more, because life is far too short to drink bad beer. So Moses used to say when we hung around together at the Red Sea Resort.
I keep a few different genres of reading material in my Loobrary, and I was thumbing through the most recent MENU magazine that Wegman's puts out. There's a section that gives you recipes for various meals, complete with enticing photos of succulent and appealing dishes called "Healthy, Easy, Affordable" meals. They usually come with a recommendation of what wine to drink with the meal--all of which suggest that somebody at Wegman's knows their wines.
At the very top, of the first meal in the Winter issue, I was shocked to see that somebody else at Wegman's knows their beers as well. There, under a meal called "Chili, Corn Skillet Bread," was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. At the bottom of the page was a description of what this classic beer from Chico, CA was all about--with a recommendation to try other beers.
Wow, says I. When did this start? Followed quickly by who cares? It's great for beer nuts, and it's even better for those of us who try to scrape a meagre existence (and a free meal) from hosting beer dinners which pair food and fine brew.
Further back in the book, Brooklyn Lager was paired with "Spicy Red Lentil Chili and Turkey Reuben, Ommegang Witte with Tomato Basil Soup, Ham and Gouda Panini, Newcastle Brown Ale with Cream of Broccoli Soup, Roast Beef Sandwich and Orange (?) and Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale with Savory Squash Soup and Roast Pork on Honey Apple Oat Toast. (And they say brewers make some extravagant beer recipes?)
Anyway, Big Props to Wegman's for getting aboard the Beer and Food Pairing Express. Now if we could only amend NJ's antiquated and restrictive distribution laws to allow us to buy beer in the supermarket where we get our food, we'd be home-free.
Cheers till next time!The PubScout