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Gastropubs make the most of a good marriage by combining craft brew with a culinary focus
By Robin Schempp
Be they brew-centric brasseries or cuisine-centric taprooms, beer-focused restaurants bring together the drinking of good beer and the eating of good food. The combined focus on local, casual food at the bar and the craft-beer movement has created a phenomenon of hybridized drinking and eating locales. National chains are refining roadhouses, regionals are relaxing restaurant concepts, and celebrity chefs forgo white tablecloths in favor of joints that no longer dodge the draught. There has even been a notable shift in food festivals — many of which have added “brew” to their “food and wine” event titles.
This adaptation has emerged in part due to the crusaders of craft beer and to the U.K.’s gastropub movement — as manifested by the 2006 British import, The Spotted Pig, which elevated the gastronomic status of both the pint and porcine-rich provisions. To be fair, the Brits weren’t alone in needing a gastronomic makeover to their pub scene. American brewpubs centered around the craft of the beer often seemed to abandon the food as an afterthought.