TRIBUNE PHOTO: JENNIFER ANDERSON - The concept behind Brewed Food is for chefs to take raw ingredients that help make up beer and use them for foods. Beer and course collaboration dinners were recently arranged at Biwa Izakaya and Base Camp Brewing.First there was fusion, then farm-to-table, then beer and wine pairing dinners.

Now a movement called Brewed Food has come to Portland. And it has potential to take our understanding and enjoyment of beer to an even deeper level.

The whole idea is to pair chefs with brewers — which already is happening in Portland — to celebrate brewing as a culinary art.

Here’s where it gets crazy: The point is to cook with some of the same ingredients and techniques used to create the beers, rather than cooking with finished beers.

Imagine: Pork belly bulgogi with wild yeast kimchi and a fermented cherry sriracha, a dish that had seven fermented foods on one plate.

“We had been waiting until the beer was in the bottle and the glass. We need to get into the kitchen and understand the raw ingredients,” Jensen Cummings told the crowd of brewers and other pairing enthusiasts Tuesday, April 19, at the Portland Brewed Food dinner he organized at Simpatica Dining Hall.

“We want to take inspiration by craft beer and apply it to the core philosophy of cuisine.”

Cummings was the first Denver chef to become a certified cicerone (beer sommelier); there are a couple thousand nationwide, including at least 50 from Oregon.

In 2014, Cummings and his team founded Brewed Food, a concept they’re taking to cities nationwide. After Portland, they head to San Diego, Los Angeles and New York.

Cummings organized the six-beer, six-course collaboration dinner between two Portland operations that happen to be located two blocks away from each other: Biwa Izakaya and Base Camp Brewing.

He says he wanted to involve chefs who were pushing and already experimenting with fermentation.

For example, the ochazuke (a classic Japanese tea rice) used a dashi (stock) made from wort from the first run of the barley steeping process, rather than the traditional konbu (seaweed). The barley was used in place of rice. Pickles fermented with Base Camp’s Belgian Tripel completed the replenishing dish.

Until now, the relationship between beer and food has been overshadowed by the wine and food pairing culture.

If Brewed Food continues to take hold, oenophiles may just have to watch out.


COURTESY: CLEAR CREEK - Trend-setting Clear Creek Distillery celebrates 30 years in business with a new branding push.Long before Distillery Row put down roots in Portland, before craft cocktails were a thing, before a gauntlet of spirits festivals awaited us every weekend, Clear Creek Distillery was founded with one simple idea: Turn our local orchard fruit into easy-drinkin’ alcohol.

This week, Clear Creek turns 30, and deserves some serious props for their staying power, considering the highly competitive market and ever-changing industry.

Founded in 1985 in Northwest Portland, Clear Creek is now the second-oldest craft distillery in the country, after Hood River Distillers (established in 1934).

But they’re not resting on their laurels.

The company is celebrating the milestone with a redesign of its retail bottles and labels for its fruit-based spirits. They’ll start to roll out the new packaging next month.

“We’ve been crafting world-class fruit brandies for over 30 years, and it’s a great honor to continue to produce some of the best eau de vie, grappa and brandy in the industry,” says Brad Whiting, the distillery’s general manager.

“Our new packaging and branding reflects our heritage, and it also brings a modern aesthetic to our overall brand by unifying our product lines under one cohesive design.”

Clear Creek combines European traditional brandy-making techniques with ripe fruit from Pacific Northwest orchards, and produces their spirits in traditional European pot stills with techniques learned in Alsace and Switzerland.

To celebrate, Clear Creek will host a series of anniversary events, dinners and tastings. Here’s the lineup:

• Clear Creek Distillery tasting room open house and tastings, set for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 30, Clear Creek Distillery, 2389 N.W. Wilson St. Childen welcome.

• Clear Creek pop-up set for 8-11 p.m. Monday, May 2 at Teardrop Cocktail Lounge, 1015 N.W. Everett St.

• Park Kitchen and Clear Creek Distillery anniversary dinner, set for 6 p.m. Saturday, May 7, Park Kitchen, 422 N.W. Eighth Ave. Chef David Sapp will prepare a five-course dinner with drink pairings by bar manager Curtis Day. Dinner is $100, including gratuity and pairings. For reservations: 503-223-7275 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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