Jake Dickson & Grant Wood-Dickson's Farmstand Meats & Sam Adams Brewer
For years now, American craft brewers have been fostering the idea that beer – not wine – is a better beverage to serve with dinner, no matter what is on the plate. It’s a movement that is gaining traction, with beer dinners routinely held at upscale restaurants around the country and a steady stream of recipes that not only call for beer as an ingredient but also recommend proper pairings.
In most cases, a beer is chosen to complement the food. Now, the Boston Beer Company has introduced a cut of steak that was designed to enhance their flagship beer, Samuel Adams Boston Lager.
The brewery has partnered with Jake Dickson, a New York-based butcher who goes by the title “artisanal meat purveyor,” to bring a new dimension to the age-old tradition of beef and brew. Inside his shop, Dickson's Farmstand Meats at the Chelsea Market – where some of Manhattan’s most fashionable shop, and tourists in the know come to browse – Dickson recently explained the cut of beef.
“It’s not overly marbled,” said Dickson of the cut, which is essentially the cap to the top sirloin, resembling a leaner New York strip or a shell steak, according to the brewery. “It’s not filet mignon either,” Dickson added.
This partnership was the next logical step in food and beer pairings, said Grant Wood, a brewer with Sam Adams. As the number of people drinking American craft beer grows, brewers are looking to expand their offerings beyond what’s in the mug.
“I think there is always going to be a place for the logoed T-shirt and pint glass,” said Wood. “But people always want a new experience.”
Sam Adams contacted Dickson a few months ago with this new experience in mind. A student of beef, he came up with six different cuts that he thought would be the perfect pairing. After several taste tests, this current cut was chosen.
Dickson said he was drawn to this cut because of the intense “beefy” flavor it exhibits and how it plays well with the malt characteristics in Boston Lager. While it will be available at Dickson’s shop ($15 a pound; orders can be placed in advance by calling 212-242-2630) the cut can be also reproduced at any butcher shop. Just ask for a three-quarter inch cut from the cap to the top sirloin, leaving the fat cap intact.
Dickson, like most men of meat in the know, recommends the cut be served medium rare. For a good sear, he says to put the steak on the grill for about 15 to 20 minutes on high with the lid closed (more/less time depending on the size of the cut). Flip the meat only once and make sure to let it rest for about 8 minutes to let the juices reabsorb into the meat. Slice the steak and don’t forget a pint on the side.
Lest you think that a full Samuel Adams line of food items are destined for the neighborhood grocery store, Wood said it’s unlikely. “We are a brewery first and last,” he said. “We’re not in the business of selling steaks. But we do like to enhance the experience of the beer.”
Susie Fogelson-Senior VP of Marketing, Creative Services and Brand Strategy and a Judge on The Next Food Network Star
Susie Fogelson joined Food Network in 2001 and has since spearheaded the development and execution of the network's off-air consumer advertising, marketing and partnerships. She has been integral in aligning support for key network initiatives among national and affiliate ad sales, core internal groups and key Scripps resources, and she has helped to drive the prime-time ratings within the core demographic to record highs. In addition to her role at Food Network, Susie also manages the marketing for Cooking Channel, including integrated partnerships and new business opportunities as well as consumer marketing, creative services and press. She continues to expand her role by working closely with the network’s stars on defining their brands and creating opportunities within the marketplace. Additionally, she is in her sixth year as a judge on The Next Food Network Star.
Susie and her husband have two daughters: Isabel, 4, and Ingrid Lily, 2.