This brewery from Healdsburg, CA has a great line up of ales and touts on their label that they’re independent since 1995, and I suspect proud of it.
Thanks to the not-so-reliable cab service in Richmond, we ended up driving and got there just a few minutes before the event began. And since driving means one of us can’t drink, we did the only sensible thing and left the car there over night. One of us not drink? Not likely. We’re responsible, not stupid. Most of the tables were full but Rick Green AKA @BCbrews and Brian Smith graciously let us sit at their table. Rick said we got stuck with the press, but far from it. They were great table companions and we had a fun night chatting and sampling the food & beer.
Looking around the room, there were a lot of new people at the event. Always great to see more people being introduced to the craft beer scene. Although when one guy ordered a MGD and a chick passed on the beer for a glass of red wine, I’m not sure they got the memo about the dinner. Here it goes. Beer is included in the event. Repeat, beer is included. Good beer, not crap. Oh well, maybe they’ll figure it out when they hit 30.
Enough rambling, on to the food and beer! When my husband, Kelly, saw the menu his comment was. Oh yeah, MEAT! The boy was clearly in favour of the carnivorous tasting.
Course one - Red Rocket Ale paired with Seared Pork Belly, amber BBQ sauce, bacon and potato hash. Chef Daniela Iaci described the pork as slow cooked for seven hours. Can you say tender? The pork was very flavourful and she kept a small amount of crispy fat on it for flavour. The Red Rocket Ale was malty that I found just a bit bitter at first but then it almost turned sweet. A deep brown ale that had nice lacing.
Course two – Racer 5 IPA which was served with Marinated jungle chicken wrapped in pandanus leaves. Hang on, let me have another sip of the Racer 5 so I can make sure I describe it well. Ahhh… great drinkability with this med-hoppy beer. This baby took home a gold at the Great American Beer Festival in 2009 – beating out 69 other strong pale ales. The chicken was a spicy, Thai inspired dish. And being the novice that I am, I ate the chicken with the pandanus leaf. Rick quickly corrected me before I ate piece number two and thus, I unwrapped the chicken. Actually, it tasted good with the leaf but since it’s only cooked in it for flavour, you’re supposed to dispose of it.
Course three – Hop Rod Rye with Salt & Grains of paradise crusted beef tenderloin skewers, horseradish cream. This was Kelly’s favourite pairing. It could be due to the gorgeous rare beef that Chef produced. The Hop Rod is a dark amber ale with spicy, citrus hops. Very pleasing to the palate, indeed. We’ve added this one to our fridge as well.
And the last course, the Black Stout with a Salted caramel pot de crème. Oh yum. I think I only managed two bites of dessert before it migrated over to Kelly’s side. He wasn’t going to let this go to waste. As always, a stout pairs nicely with a dessert. Although the salt that Chef used cut down on the dessert's sweetness. The stout was a brown/black colour and embodied the typical stout characteristics – malt, coffee, mild chocolate.
Rob and Tom (@BeerthirstTom) from Beerthirst were pouring pints (and generous top-ups) for each course. Let’s just say that no one went home thirsty. A great night with Rick, Brian, Rob, Tom, Leo (@vancitybeer) and Scott (@WhatsForLunchBC).
All this typing has made me thirsty. Pass me my Racer 5.