We’ve paired our beer with quite a bit of food, but not like this. Recently, a team from Allagash took a drive down to the headquarters of Good To-Go in Kittery, Maine. Good To-Go is the brainchild of a power couple: professional cook Jennifer Scism—seriously, she beat Mario Batali on Iron Chef—and David Kooritz, an active outdoorsman and super-interesting dude—he’s been everything from an emergency room nurse to a ski patroller.
Thanks to our love for exploring the wilder areas of our mutual state, we’ve had the pleasure of eating a couple meals from Good To-Go. And when we got in touch with the Good To-Go team about a pairing dinner, they were all for it.
Jennifer prepares the main courses (with boiling water and a spoon).
And some protein for the side.
For our visit, we brought down four beers to pair: White, Saison, Hoppy Table Beer, and Black. Jennifer presented us with four different meals from Good To-Go: Mexican Quinoa, Herbed Mushroom Risotto, Indian Vegetable Korma, and Thai Curry. Before dinner, David took us on a quick tour of the facility, where we got to see room-sized dehydrators and boxes upon boxes of well-preserved gourmet food. It’s very evident, walking through their facility, that the Good To-Go team has a dedication to both consistency, and quality ingredients.
Dehydrated ingredients ready for packaging.
So which dishes paired best with which beer? The cop-out answer is that, honestly, everything paired well.
The long answer is that there were some standout combinations. It’s worth noting that chef Jennifer added some protein to each dish. We had an array of chicken, shrimp, and beef along the side, which if you’re not halfway up a mountain—and especially if you’re a professional chef—we’d recommend you try as well.
Cheers were very much in order.
To go into more depth about the pairings, here’s what we found:
The spice and subtle heat of the thai curry matched nicely with the hints of coriander and citrus in Hoppy Table Beer. The fruit esters, and raisin note in the Black actually made it a complementary pair with the rustic , earthy flavor in the Herbed Mushroom risotto. The chocolatey mole in the Mexican Quinoa was also an obvious pair with Black, but surprisingly Saison’s peppery, dry character proved to be a more satisfying match. Indian Vegetable Korma was a slam dunk with White—the spice and citrus character in our Belgian wit melded perfectly with the robust mix of spices—turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, etc.
It’s always a blast to pair up with other local Maine organizations—especially when they’re as nice as the whole Good To-Go team. We had a truly excellent time talking beer, food, and everything in between. Needless to say, we’re already looking forward to our next trip down.