Friday, January 24, 2014

Long Trail Craft Beer and Food Pairing

I received tickets to attend the Long Trail Craft Beer and Food Pairing compliments of Long Trail Brewing.

The event was a part of the Mohegan Sun Winefest and featured The American Craft Beer Cookbook Author John Holl & Long Trail's Executive Brewer Dave Hartmann.

There were five Long Trail brews chosen to be paired with selected recipes from the cookbook.

The first course was a wonderful assortment of Grafton Village Vermont aged cheeses paired with Belgian Brunette Belgian Dark Ale (6.20% ABV) from Brown Bag Series #7 - a crisp, flavorful unfiltered farmhouse style ale that is malty with a good balance of flavors. The cheeses by themselves were amazing but the pairing was an excellent match.

While enjoying this course, we were introduced to John Holl and Dave Hartmann by marketing guru Ken Zuckerman. Doug Cohn, a representative from Riedel spoke about drinking beer from the appropriate glassware and the glasses specially designed by Spiegelau in conjunction with craft breweries. This discussion was so intriguing that I will be performing experiments of my own to test the information he presented.

The second course was an individual shrimp tart with a shrimp reduction. The tart was fantastically delicious. It was ideally paired with Ramble Lemon Pepper Kölsch (5.30% ABV) from  Brown Bag Series #5 - a wonderful, bright Kölsch with hints of lemon and spicy of pepper that builds and grows bolder with every sip. Perfection.

While we were enjoying each individual course, John Holl and Dave Hartmann discussed why each beer was selected for each food, why beer pairs so well with food, and information about the different beers. The conversation was lively, fun, and educational.

Next up was a morsel of chicken mole paired with Culmination Chocolate Porter (9.30% ABV) - a dark, rich roasty beer with bold chocolate flavor. The chicken was outstanding and the beer was just as tasty. I just wish there had been more of it! YUM!

Following the chicken mole was a roasted root vegetable hash paired with Long Trail Ale (4.60% ABV) - an altbier that is a Long Trail classic; sweet and malty balanced with a gentle dose of hops. I love roasted vegetables and they went so well with the beer.

Last but not least was a carrot cake topped with bourbon mascarpone frosting paired with Limbo Double IPA (7.50% ABV) - an imperial IPA with sharp resinous and citrus aromatic hops tempered a bold malt backbone. This was a daring pairing. When John suggested it to Dave he scoffed. But then Dave went out and bought himself a carrot cake to try the pairing. He was duly impressed so we got to try it, as well.  The contrast of sweet, rich cake combined with the bitter wonderfulness of the beer was lovely. So good!  

Thanks to Long Trail for the tickets. It was a fun and educational event and I look forward to attending other such functions in the future.

1 comment:

Books, Brews & Booze said...

I love root vegetables too, so that pairing sounds especially amazing!

I'm interested in trying the Ramble Lemon Pepper Kölsch - it doesn't sound like any beer I've ever had before, so I'm intrigued!