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The Basta/Bruery Pairing Dinner Prep

Written By Peter Reinhart
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 Webisodes

We are moving now closer to the showdown between Kelly Whitaker, Al Henkin, and me on pizza versus Patrick Rue on beer.  It all began at, and was inspired by, this dinner at Basta – Wood Fired Eatery and Pizzeria, where Kelly and Al came up with a wonderful tasting menu inspired by some of the beers from Orange County artisan brewery, The Bruery.  In this segment you will see Al and Kelly briefing their serving staff on the courses and the beers, including Patrick’s explanation of his IPL (Imperial Pale Lager as opposed to an India Pale Ale). There was a wonderful Farro Salad with Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese (one of my all time favorites), as well as Pan Roasted Divers Scallops, Quail, Rack of Lamb, and a thoughtfully selected cheese course (see Al’s mini-course on cheese and beer pairings in an earlier webisode). Most interesting of all is that Al and Kelly chose to go with a French theme rather than staying in their usual wheelhouse, Italian. Of course, they both paid their dues for years working in fine French dining, so this was but a mere dip into their previous treasure chest of training and a chance to flex their wings.

This all leads to our next webisode, coming soon, when we all sit down and come up with the Signature Pizza/Beer Challenge. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Enjoy this one first, an appetizer, so to speak, of things to come.



What’s the connection between Bruery and Basta? With so many good to great breweries in and around Boulder, I’d have thought they would prefer local.


I think Kelly and Alan came across The Bruery and love what they are doing. They are definitely aware of and into the local brewing scene as well.

We were filming some stuff with Kelly one day and he served us one of the Bruery’s Saisons and knowing a lot about the Bruery went on and on about what they were doing. You could tell how much he respected them as craft brewers. Because of that, I visited the Bruery back in LA (Orange County) and this whole series was born.

Maybe Kelly can expand on this? Or, Alan?


Yes, we address this in the next segment, which should post in a couple of weeks. I asked Kelly the exact same question so hang in there and check back when that one goes up.

Alan Henkin

I would be happy to answer this question. The Bruery is a young craft beer company that is focusing on old world styles and making them contemporary by using different ingredients or just by adding their own touches. This is evident in the fact that they only sell large format 750ml bottles and bottle condition every beer and that the styles are mostly Belgian and French and Danish. Basta is also a young company that is using the model of the traditional wood fire pizzeria from the old world but making it contemporary and adjusting the flavors for the American palate. There is a beautiful cross over found between Kelly Whitaker’s cooking style and Patrick Rue’s brewing style that fell into place perfectly for us at Basta.


That sounds like a great fit. I have heard more about The Bruery from friends at GABF than anywhere and for a while thought they might be near Denver. As a beer judge and an owner of a Fire Within oven, this topic strikes near to my heart. I’m in Columbus, Indiana, where there are 45,000 people and four breweries. 3 have started within the last 13 months. The other grew from 20 gallon to 10 barrel batches in the same period. The natural pairing will be hard to resist. I am looking forward to seeing your next installment.

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Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.

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