Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Introducing blogger Rich Higgins - because it's the Year of the Beer.

Rich Higgins is a SF based local brewer, food lover and a great writer. Since I'm newbie to the world of homebrewing, not to mention pairing food and beer--I'm excited to have Rich contribute to Root to Fruit about all things beer and food. Here's a quick interview to introduce Rich, be on the lookout for a new post by him this week!

How did you get started as a home-brewer?

I started homebrewing because I loved beer and wanted to figure out how to make it myself. My first few batches were horrendous, but after seeking info from different sources, my beer got better and better.

How did you make the jump to brewing as a day job?

After five years of homebrewing, I moved to San Francisco without a job and looking for a dream to chase. I spent my first few months here sitting in brewpubs, loving the fresh beer, and wondering what I was going to do with myself. Then it hit me: someone’s got to brew this stuff!

What is your first food memory?

The sound of the Shawerma Man sharpening his knives at the shawerma stand near where I grew up.

What are you cooking these days?

I’m pickling and jarring a lot of the last vestiges of summer. Basically, a lot of tomato sauce and spiced fruit jams.

You are a certified Cicerone--what is a Cicerone?

A Cicerone is a certified beer sommelier; someone who is an expert in beer history, styles, and brewing technique, who has an expert palate, and who has a passion about pairing great beer with great food. Draft system maintenance is key knowledge, too.

What are you the most excited by in the food/beer world right now?

The real excitement of pairing beer and food is how it can be an “a-ha!” moment for people, allowing the beautiful flavors and textures of beer to be appreciated in a new context. There are too many people who think that beer doesn’t have a place at the table. Beer is such a versatile partner with food, and, unlike how wine has difficult-to-pair foods, there really is a beer for every food and a food for every beer.

When was the last time you had a bud light?

At the Kentucky Derby a couple years ago at a bachelor party. It’s five seconds of my life I’ll never get back.

Last meal?

My last meal will be a ripe Warren pear from Frog Hollow Farm, sliced with a sprinkle of freshly cracked pepper, and a bottle of Old Stock from North Coast Brewing Co. Try it, and you’ll understand.

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