For the most part, this column is used to keep folks abreast of contemporary beer issues and educate Yukoners in craft brewing culture. Often times, it reads as a “news of the weird in beer” type article … a defence of crazy beer happenings the world over.

Today, we explore beer’s practicality in an effort to alter some of the misconceptions people may have about beer, brewing and beer culture. We do so by looking at beer through a culinary lens so to speak.

Now sure, it is no secret that beer works great in food and has for some time. It seems that once summer rolls around that many people cannot help but use beer to create sauces, marinades, batters and dressings.

There are more than a few of us around the Yukon Brewing Company who gather around the “watercooler” (read: beer fridge) on a Monday afternoon to brag about our weekend beer-themed cooking. The thing about cooking with beer is that you can make it as challenging and as classy as you wish.

In contemporary circles, lagers and ales have a tendency to be judged as beverages that lack that certain air of refinement when compared to wine or a finely aged scotch. This is simply not true. In this case, seeing may not be believing but tasting sure is.

Last month, Yukon Brewing paired up with the Westmark Whitehorse’s kitchen staff, most notably Executive Chef Lisa Williams and her Sous-Chef Ashley Wilke, to bring Whitehorse its first Beer Dinner.

Williams and Wilke were given a creative carte blanche to create eight courses featuring eight Yukon beers as a key ingredient. That course was then subsequently paired with a glass of the beer the dish was created with.

The result was a formal, fancy and fun dinner that was mercifully free of pretention and posturing.

Guests at the dinner were blown away by just how much thought had obviously been given to the beer and food pairings. The beers complemented each dish terrifically, a testament to the advanced and developed palates of the chefs and guests. They were given the chance to see beer in a whole new light.

There is a reason that brewing is such a science and an event such as this exemplifies why each subtle ingredient can make a bold difference when you go to cook and pair foods with different styles of lagers and ales.

The moral here is to take the time to taste your food. The new appreciation you’ll have for beer and brewing is something to cherish and something to challenge yourself with in your kitchen.

This column is courtesy of the Yukon Brewing Company, an organization that has a genius for finding new uses for its product … just like those baking soda people who say you should put it in the back of the fridge to take care of foul odour. Geniuses, yeah, just like them.