Archive for June 8th, 2011

June 8, 2011

Highland Brewing Beer Dinner

Were you expecting another What I Ate Wednesday?  If you had your hopes up, then I’m sorry to disappoint.  However, the post would have been a much bigger disappointment.  I haven’t been noshing on any good eats lately (to my dismay).  Seriously.  Two words.  Canned Tuna.  That should paint a good enough picture.

In other news, I attended a Highland Brewing Company beer dinner last night with Kevin and one of our drinking buddies.  (He’s a bigger beer snob that I am!)  If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that! 

It was a good time, and it was at the same restaurant that sponsored the Oskar Blues beer dinner we attended a while back.  Yet again, it was a four-course tasting of brews and tapas.  The food was better this time, but the pairing still had me a bit confused.  (The bites still paired better than the Oskar Blues dinner though, thank goodness!)

menu

The first course was my favorite.  It was delicious and well planned.  The restaurant served Cattail Peak Wheat with a jicama and orange salad with spring mix and a light vinaigrette.  The citrus paired wonderfully, and neither beer nor bites overpowered the other.  Cattail Peak Wheat is an interesting beer because it’s cloudy and delicious, yet there’s not much going on in there.  There’s a hint of hibiscus, but it’s simplicity makes it perfect for a hot summer day.  I wouldn’t pay much for it, but I certainly enjoyed it.

wheat

The next course was Gaelic Ale (the brewery’s main brew) with a stuffed jalapeno.  This is one of those pairing that had me confused.  I love stuffed jalapenos and Gaelic Ale, which is a malty, bitter, beer with a beautiful amber color.  When I asked the restaurant owner why he chose this, he said the malt in the beer would tame the jalapeno.  It didn’t tame much to me.  All I tasted was jalapeno.  Delicious jalapeno.  But still… I like tasting beer.

course 2

Next came Highland’s Kashmir IPA, which might be Kev’s second favorite of their beers.  His true favorite is St. Terese’s Pale, which he says tastes more like an IPA.  Nevertheless, the table really enjoyed this one.  Hoppy beers make happy beer snobs.  This was paired with fish an chips.  This isn’t necessarily a bad pairing, but I thought a million other things would have gone better.  I like fish n’ chips, but the foodie in me was let down a bit.  Couldn’t they have come up with something more exciting?  Plus, I think of fish n’ chips as English, and an American IPA is vastly different than typical English beers.  Oh well.  At least it I had an excuse to eat some yummy fries!

IPA

The last course was coffee-rubbed steak with an Oatmeal Porter.  I love that beer!  It’s one of my favorite winter beverages, and luckily, I also love steak.  I think this would have been a wonderful pairing if they hadn’t messed up the beefy goodness with chili sauce/glaze/stuff.  The chili sauce was very spicy yet also sticky n’ sweet.  The heat of the chili totally overpowered the coffee rub on the beef and the oaty goodness in my porter.  Insert sad face here.

steak n' porter

I’d like to end this post with a few quick notes:

  1. Despite getting home a wee bit late, I still got up early this morning and got my sweat on.  Go me!
  2. There’s still time to enter my giveaway!  I chose a winner Tuesday, so tell your friends too.
  3. Check out the link love for more beer sites: Beer Runner, Will Run for Beer, and the best drinking flowchart you’ve ever seen at It’s Just the Booze Dancing

Have you ever attended a beer dinner?  If so, what did you think?  If not, would you want to?

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