Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Miss a question? Go here.
When it comes to sucking down a cold one, we all have our favorite beers. But after a long day at the restaurant, which brews do Valley chefs and food industry folks reach for -- and do they match yours?
See also: What's Your Hangover Cure?
Brent Karlicek, Beverage director for Upward Projects (Windsor, Postino)
The brew I find myself reaching for most often is Rayon Vert, a Belgian-style pale ale from the talented crew at Green Flash. Wicked West Coast hops, spicy aromatics, toasted malt, and a slightly sour finish. Icing on the cake: they bottle-condition with a hefty dose of Brettanomyces, a wild yeast that adds layers of funky complexity.
Chef Eric Ramirez, Culinary Dropout
Pabst Blue Ribbon, because it's the closest thing to Lone Star I have found out here. And it's so good ice-cold.
Danielle Leoni, Chef and Co-Owner, The Breadfruit
Red Stripe. If I'm going for a beer, it's because I want to be refreshed.
Chef Ehren Litzenberger, BLD Chandler
Four Peaks Kilt Lifter. It's a great amber beer with an awesome flavor and taste. I enjoy it so much that I cook with it!
Bernie Kantak, Chef and Partner, Citizen Public House
Dogfish Head Festina Peche. It's a Berliner Weisse with a touch of peach to mellow out the tartness. Mind you, it's not for everyone. That tartness is still there and quite prominent! Not super-fruity, not a boatload of alcohol, just a beautiful, refreshing drink especially for this crazy Arizona heat! Hard to find, but I'll order it every time I see it!
Michael Rusconi, Chef and Owner, Rusconi's American Kitchen
Stella Artois. Cold, crisp, and clean. You can't beat it. I don't like dark beer.
Chef Peter DeRuvo, Davanti Enoteca
Gotta be Stella Artois! Got hooked a long time ago in Europe and never looked back. Brings backs great memories and stories to be told, not sold.
Christopher Gross, Chef and Owner, Christopher's Restaurant & Crush Lounge
Guinness extra stout. Not the draft stuff or the can. It's a totally different beer and a great contrast from drinking wine. For me, that's why I like Los Dos Molinos -- it's so different from what I do every day.
Lisa Khnanisho, Owner, Tryst Café
Our Organic Bison Honey Basil because it's organic and delicious.
Zach Bredemann, Corporate Chef, Kona Grill
Always Sierra Nevada. The full-bodied brew has a complex character with just a little spice and the perfect alcohol content.
Chris Osborn, Owner, Cadillac Ranch
San Tan Devil's Ale, because it's local and it's got a great balance of hoppy-ness, and other flavors. It's just a great beer.
Steve Freidkin, Owner, TexAz Grill
To drink: Shiner Bock has great body and flavor without being too heavy. To cook with: Budweiser
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