Last year, White Labs announced it was opening a destination dedicated to fermented food and beverages. The White Labs Kitchen and Tap is situated in the craft beer mecca of Asheville, N.C., and recently I (CBB correspondent Pete McNeil) traveled to the craft beer mecca to sample some food and booze and discuss it all with Lisa White, vice president of White Labs, and Chris Genua, general manger at White Labs.
White Labs began in San Diego in 1995. Today it’s an international company that provides pure liquid yeast and fermentation products, services, analysis and education to professionals and enthusiasts alike. The boutique restaurant (a daughter cell; sorry, yeast humor) is White Labs first foray into food (in Boulder and San Diego they do have tasting rooms). The restaurant offers a menu that melds culinary art with the science of fermentation. Guests are able to enjoy woodfired pizzas, house-made fermented sauces, farm-fresh salads and other beer-infused dishes and desserts.
Since bread and beer yeast both originate from the same family (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), all pizza doughs served at White Labs Kitchen and Tap are slow-risen using White Labs pure liquid yeast cultures. By bringing this process into the kitchen, White Labs is revisiting the historical relationship between brewers and bakers, where one would rely on the other for brewing or baking.
Watch me sample food and drink beer in these four videos, discussing it all in a yeast-y context. Man, wish I had some of those French fries brined in lactobacillus right now. Mmmm … lactobacillus.