First Class Food Paired With Canned Beer

Above: Tilth Chef Maria Hines drinks from a Tecate at the NW James Bears Nominees dinner in April.

While I enjoy my fair share of $4 pints of microbrews and $15 bottles of Belgian ales, I have a major soft spot for beer in can. From PBR to local faves like Rainier and Olympia (okay, not locally made these days, but you catch my drift), I’ve always felt that beer in a can has a versatility (light-weight, easy to transport and recycle) and affordability that makes it hard to resist.

It seems I’m not alone in admiring this unpretentious beverage. This weekend, while chowing down on a plate of oysters at Anchovies & Olives, I had the pleasure of watching chef de cuisine Charles Walpole successfully pull off a culinary triple threat: cooking for a busy crowd and sipping from a can of Tecate--all while rockin' out to Journey. And just a few weeks earlier I spotted the trademark red aluminum cans of the same cerveza in the hands of chef Maria Hines of Tilth.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Maybe it’s just the food world’s nod to the recession or maybe people are just drinking more, but as someone who loves a good can of Schlitz or Oly here and there, I find it very refreshing to see local, first-class chefs who have the sensibility and humility to crack open a can of cheap beer.