Don’t sniff the cap

Kevin Pratt is a certified cicerone, the beer equivalent of a sommelier. There are currently fewer than 100 in the world. I asked him about food pairings for Sacramento Beer Week.

“It’s amazing how many foods beer goes with, since so many foods are cooked, causing a caramelized flavor that beer has as well. The base of beer is barley malt, which when heated brings out toastiness, roast-coffeelike flavors and various fruits.

“A really fun pairing is crab cakes with Belgian saison beer. It has a really funky yeast with lots of varieties of tropical fruit notes, dry hay and some earthy notes. It brings out the sweetness and complexity of almost every sort of seafood.

“The best dessert pairing is molten chocolate cake paired with the bittersweet chocolate and roast flavors of a good stout. It really brings out the depth and character of both of them.”