Sunday, August 21, 2011

My First Beer Dinner!

Thanks to a complementary ticket that I received from Pearlstine Distributors (thanks Christina) and New Belgium South Carolina (thanks Grant), I was able to attend my first beer dinner on August 15th at Closed For Business.  It was a "Collaboration Dinner," held at Closed For Business, with beer from Allagash Brewing Company and New Belgium Brewing, and food from the minds of  Two Boroughs Larder.  This was a four course beer dinner, and we received a 5 oz. sample from both breweries with each course.

When guests arrived to the beer dinner, they were treated with a Mint Julep!  I felt like I was a high roller on Kentucky Derby Day.  Although I didn't finish it, it was quite tasty.  I needed to be somewhat functional at work the next day, so I needed to limit my alcohol intake to mostly beer!

After arriving and getting my Mint Julep, I was a bit worried since I was by myself at a table and hoping someone would sit with me.  Les from Allagash (who presented all the Allagash beers), his girlfriend, and two of his friends who work for Advintage Distributing ended up sitting with me.  They also knew Chris Winn (Currently working for Palmetto Brewing Company, but formerly worked for New Belgium), who was there presenting the beer for New Belgium.   Let's just say I was in good company!  After about a half hour, I realized that Steve and Joey from The Frothy Beard Brewing Company were sitting at the table next to me.  Love those guys, and their beer!  

While waiting for things to get started, I was treated to an Allagash White by my table mates.  This basically served as my drink that would keep my thirst quenched in between courses.

Here was the menu for the evening!

Course 1
New Belgium Lips of Faith Super Cru-Belgian Strong Pale Ale 10% ABV
Allagash Confluence Ale-American Wild Ale 7.4% ABV
Served with Schnitzel-Red Cabbage, Apple Slaw & Breaded Pork

                     The NB Lips of Faith Super Cru!  It's like Fat Tire on good!

The Allagash Confluence!  Beautiful to look at and taste!  So smooth and so flavorful!

      I'm not a food critic, but I can tell you this Pork Schnitzel was the shizzle fa schnitzel!

Course 2
Allagash Victor Ale-Belgian Strong Ale 9% ABV
New Belgium Abbey Grand Cru-Belgian Strong Dark Ale 9.4% ABV
Served with Venusschelp Frieten, Apple Broth, Oven Roasted Vidalia Onions & Blue Cheese Aioli

 Allagash Victor Ale!  This was one of my favorites!  Nice subtle wine like character in this one!

  Turned out Venusschelp Frieten means clams!!!  These were "Frieten" fantastic!

Course 3
New Belgium Lips of Faith La Folie-Flanders Red Ale 6% ABV
Allagash Victoria Ale-Belgian Strong Pale Ale 9% ABV
Served with Wafel-Buckwheat Waffle, Black Pepper Parsnip Gravy  House Sausage

     The New Belgium Lips of Faith La Folie.  It's a Flanders Red Ale (sour beer).  Sour beers are starting to grow on me!

Sorry about the missing picture of the Wafel (Waffle).  I think I was starting to get a real buzz by then, and lost track of the fact that I was supposed to be documented the beer dinner.  Oops!

And by the time I was in the middle of the third course, I did realize it was almost time for my ride to come.  My in-laws were nice enough to drive me downtown, hang out and have dinner, and then bring me home.  I figured the beer dinner would be done by 8:30 (it started at 6pm), so we settled on that time for them to pick me up.  I didn't want them waiting around all night for me, so I needed to be sensible.  Well, the 1st course didn't even come out until after 7pm and next thing I knew it was 8:20pm and I had yet to taste 3 beers (Allagash Victoria, Allagash Vrienden, and New Belgium Vrienden) and the last food course.   The waitstaff was quick to hook me up with all three of the beers at the same time for me to quickly drink pound!  They were working on getting the last course of food done and boxed up for me, but unfortunately I had to go and it didn't come out in time.  Thanks for trying though!

Course 4
Allagash Vrienden Ale-American Wild Ale 9.3% ABV
New Belgium Vrienden-American Wild Ale 8.5% ABV
Served with Konijn & Bier, Rabbit Roulade, Sweet Corn & Glazed Veg

           The Allagash Victoria was awesome!!!  Of the two Vrienden's, I liked the New Belgium a little bit more.  Both were good though!

To summarize this beertastic beer dinner, my favorite beers of the evening were:

1) Allagash Confluence
2) New Belgium Lips of Faith Super Cru
3) Allagash Victor
4) New Belgium Vrienden

As for the food, the schnitzel and clams were out of this world!  The Chefs from Closed For Business and Two Boroughs Larder did an amazing job with the food.

I had a great time and want to thank Pearlstine Distributors and New Belgium South Carolina for the ticket, as well as my table mates (Les and the gang) for giving me great company!



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