Pizza Quest Globe

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.



We wrote about the final pairing and event on the site, but are now just getting to the editing of the footage we shot. Let me jump forward and say that the pizza that Kelly and Alan came up with to go on the dough that Peter came up with and the beer that Patrick and his team came up with went so well together! I can only hope they brew the beer again down the road because the keg that Patrick Rue gave me ran dry long ago! I can make a pizza similar to Kelly’s Challenge Pizza, but I can’t make Patrick’s Bier de Garde (Birra Basta)!

Here’s a link to one of my attempts to recreate the masterpiece:


Lucky for me, I have an award winning Bier de Garde recipe. Gold at the World Expo of Beer, no less! My go-to beer for pizza is Dortmunder Export, though. Being balanced and session strength but with malt and hop character really works well for me. Good (domestic) examples are Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold and Bell’s Lager (of the Lakes).



I think it’s time you wrote an article or two!

Great, now I have to go find some Great Lakes Dortmunder! Another quest…


Not yet! Maybe in September when things start slowing down. I am in the process of contracting tomato crops, changing commissary kitchens, and ensuring fair treatment from city hall. I’ll be happy to share. As a matter of fact, I just started back into my blog tonight with how I accidentally found myself in the tomato business.

It’s going to be an exciting summer.


Can you send us your blog address so we can let our followers check it out? Also, are you running a mobile pizzeria plus a micro-brewery, or what? No wonder you’re so busy!

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Vision Statement

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.

Peter’s Books

American Pie
Artisan Breads Every Day
The Bread Bakers Apprentice
Brother Junipers Bread Book
Crust and Crumb
Whole Grain Breads

...and other books by Peter Reinhart, available on