The Perfect Pair – Food Trucks and Breweries

The 7th Annual San Francisco Beer Week, arguably the largest beer celebration in the country, took place last week. In a span of just ten days, there were 797 events spread across 288 locations. One of the many events I had the opportunity to attend was a craft beer and food truck-pairing event held at the SoMa StrEat Food Park located in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco.

The cost of admission included a commemorative SF Beer Week mug and unlimited tastings to the four NorCal breweries that were pouring special releases every hour.

SF Beer Week
Photo Cred: Brian Chan

Though the price of food was not included with admission, after an hour or so of scoping out all the food trucks and sampling quite a few refreshing beers, my friends and I decided to try out the Me So Hungry truck. Famous for their sliders packed with a fusion of flavors, we ordered their three most popular:

SF Beer Week - Me So Hungry Sliders
Me So Hungry Sliders
  • Cali Slider – Angus beef, smoked apple-wood bacon, balsamic sauteed onions and gorgonzola cheese
  • KTM Slider – Marinated short ribs, pepper jack cheese, crispy onions and spicy creme fraiche sauce
  • Flyin’ Hawaiian Slider – Shredded chicken, crispy maui onions and chipotle aioli

We didn’t want the beer to overpower the flavor of these savory sliders so we paired this round with the Organic California Blonde Ale from Eel River Brewing Company. The subtleness of this ale and its crisp slight finish of malt and bitters paired quite well with the unique flavors of the sliders that literally melt in your mouth with each bite. Altogether, we were delighted that Me So Hungry was our first food truck stop.

Next up was the El Calamar Peruvian Food truck. Peruvian food is one of my favorites so we indulged and ordered a few items.

SF Beer Week - El Calamar Per
El Calamar Peruvian Food Truck Photo Cred: Brian Chan
  • Salchi Papa – Diced sausage mixed with fries and topped with lettuce, mayo, ketchup, spicy mustard and Peruvian cheese
  • Fried Calamari -Topped with tartar sauce and a spicy aioli

After moving on to more hearty and fried dishes, we decided a Double IPA was in order and therefore paired this meal with the Steelhead DIPA by Mad River Brewing. This potent brew with hints of citrus, melons and hops and its strong flavors coincided perfectly with the fried goodness of the papas and calamari. Both of which, might I add, were on point and perfectly crisp!

SF Beer Week - Firetrail Pizza
Fire Trail Pizza Photo Cred: Brian Chan

It was tough to decide which truck to hit for our last meal, but one set itself apart – the Fire Trail Pizza Trailer and its wood-fired oven. Plus, pizza and beer are always a winning combo, so we ordered the sausage and fresh mozzarella pie and paired it with the Jamaica Red Ale also by Mad River Brewing. The sweet finish of caramel and hops of this brew paired wonderfully with the savory sausage, slightly sweet marinara sauce and smokiness of the wood-fired crust.

SF Beer Week Mugs
Photo Cred: Brian Chan

Both the craft beer and gourmet food truck scenes are booming in the San Francisco – Bay Area. It’s exciting to see them working and growing together. I am already looking forward to next year and in the meantime planning to visit the trucks I didn’t have a chance to sample during the festival!

-Bay Area Contributor, Brian Chan

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