An Eye Opening Pairing Dinner With Brookly Brewery

Our trips to the brewery were immensely helpful in crafting our pairing menu.

Our trips to the brewery were immensely helpful in crafting our pairing menu.

Last week I rolled out another awesome Amanti Vino beer event and hosted a Brooklyn Brewery Pairing Dinner at Culinariane in Montclair, NJ.  I was joined by Eric Ottaway, Brooklyn’s General Manager, who I had met in a beer class that I taught at the store. I didn’t know that Eric was among my students and when he introduced himself after class my jaw nearly hit the floor. Shock and awe aside, Eric and I struck up a conversion and he invited me to visit the Brewery in Williamsburg.  It was during the tour that we conceived of the idea for a beer pairing dinner in Montclair. Ariane Duarte, who had recently appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef, was naturally my first choice to execute the menu. Ariane and the other chefs drank the Brooklyn products throughout the series. She was incredibly excited to do the dinner and we made another pilgrimage to Williamsburg. After tasting through Brooklyn’s line up, Ariane and her husband Michael began devising a menu that would pair with the artisanal beers.  Not surprisingly, their menu was incredible and worked brilliantly with the beers.’

The night kicked off with the Brooklyn Summer Ale, which is a light-bodied golden beer with a crisp bitterness accompanied by citrus and floral aromas. For the appetizer, Ariane served a Black Tiger Shrimp Scampi with White Beans & Broccoli Rabe paired with the Brooklyn Pilsner. The Pilsner is a refreshing golden lager displaying a smooth, crisp and snappy bitterness with fresh floral aromas.  The sweetness of the shrimp and scampi sauce was cut nicely by the Pilsner’s crisp character. The second course was a Goat Cheese and Mushroom Bruschetta with White Truffle Oil and Petite Seasons Mix paired with the Brooklyn Weisse Beer.  The tangy goat cheese and delicate mushrooms were the ideal partner for the Weisse beer’s subtle banana, clove and melon notes.  The third course was Toasted Gnocchi and Spring Vegetable Carbonara paired with the Brooklyn Local 2.  The crispy Pancetta in the Carbonara was smokey and rich with earthy flavors that were truly amazing with Brooklyn’s dark Belgian style ale.  Next Ariane sent out the main course, Brown Ale Braised Short Ribs with Rosemary Parsnip Puree and Crispy Onions paired with the Brooklyn Brown Ale.  This pairing stole the show and was my personal favorite.  The brown ale’s caramel, chocolate and coffee flavors were the perfect accompaniment to the extremely tender and gamey meat.  The flavors and textures of both the short ribs and the beer were unbelievably luxurious and rich making this dish a true epiphany in beer and food pairing. For dessert, Michael prepared a Black Chocolate Stout Float with a Chocolate Brownie paired with the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.  I was a bit skeptical at first of this pairing; I thought the 10%abv of the beer might overpower the ice cream and brownie.  But, as soon as I tasted the dish my concerns were put to rest, the float was delicious.

The dinner was an eye opener for a lot of people who never know how versatile beer can be in regards to pairing with food.  We will continue to collaborate with breweries and local restaurants to offer more dinners.  Amanti Vino also offers educational beer classes and a monthly beer club: Amanti Birra. Shoot me an email if you have any ideas for future events, want to hear about what is currently planned or just want to chat about beer.

Cheers!!

Travis Glohs (travis@amantivino.com)

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