Summer has now passed, which not only means that the great autumn beers are back, but the Pumphouse Pub resumes their Beer Tasting Series! I’m always curious to see what Chef Daniela Iaci will create with her food magic and per usual, she didn’t disappoint. These dinners just keep getting better and better so if you haven’t checked one out yet, get on it! Daniela does an amazing job of nailing the pairings and prepares such succulent and flavourful dishes. I bow to you, Daniela.
Café latte beef carpaccio espresso crusted beef, crème fraiche & arugula salad
Paired with: Elysian Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout
The carpaccio was paper thin and paired gorgeously with the crème fraiche and arugula. Balsamic vinegar was drizzled on the arugula and it exuded a pleasant parmesan aroma.
Stout paired with the first course, you say? Bold, for sure, but it worked. And the Elysian is such a fantastic beer. It’s truly one of my favourite stouts – the coffee and chocolate notes are well balanced and it is a smoooooth beer to drink. Ahhhh. I love you, Spilt Spot.
Spicy coconut sweet & sour prawn soup
Paired with: The Commons Urban Farmhouse Ale
The chilies that were used in the broth would pack a big, punch you in the face and take no prisoners bite, should you eat them. And we were warned so as not to have a surprise should we eat one. But wow, did they ever enhance the flavour of the soup. It had a great kick to it and kept the sweet and sour from having their own battle. I loved this soup.
The Commons’ beers are new to BC and thanks to Beerthirst, they’re now being imported! We had the Urban Farmhouse Ale with this course. I’m a big fan of farmhouse ales and this is a great example of one. Floral notes, some bitterness and a clean finish. This beer is the 2012 World Beer Cup Bronze Medal winner. Applause, applause. We’ll be stopping in at The Commons’ tasting room on our next Portland trip (coming up next week!) and will indulge in some of their other goodies like the Flemish Kiss…
Crispy pork belly crostini with goat cheese
Paired with: North Coast Le Merle Farmhouse Ale
I made some pretty detailed notes on this one, such as SO DAMN GOOD! I’m no food blogger, but I know what I like in food and beer. And this pork belly was ah-maze-ing! So flavourful and tender in its porky goodness. I think we all wanted seconds, and thirds, and and and… Did you catch that I loved this?
Ok, I’ll stop my pork-love-in and get on to the Le Merle. North Coast hits a lot of home runs, in my opinion (Old Rasputin, Old No. 38 Stout, PranQster and others) and this Farmhouse Ale is beautiful. Its inspiration comes from the Flanders region with Belgian yeast, plenty of hops and fruity undertones.
Citrus BBQ chicken tostada
Paired with: Half Pinks Little Scrapper IPA
The citrus flavours on the chicken tostada danced around like a happy little mariachi band. How Daniela managed to make this pairing a show stopper, I’ll never know, but she did it. This dish was so flavourful and tasty! Slow clap time… clap-clap-clap
Half Pints Brewing are another new addition to BC, again courtesy of Beerthirst, and Little Scrapper is a great IPA. They sell t-shirts that say “Together we can stop the evil spread of lite beer”. Yep, we will get along just fine. A hop forward IPA with gorgeous citrus/grapefruit notes all the while, staying balanced.
Fig & blue cheese crème brulee with candied walnuts
Paired with: Tenaya Creek Double Tandem Double IPA
Did someone say crème brulee? I love crème brulee. I’m not a dessert person by nature but good luck on me passing this up. Fig and blue cheese might not be what you’d expect in this dessert but it rocked my world. Daniela, my hands are getting sore from all the clapping… but well deserved. She outdid herself with this gem. A few candied gooseberries also came along for the ride and the brulee was sweet and salty. I saw a tweet from Daniela earlier that morning saying she didn’t have a proper recipe for this dessert – the way she wanted it, she obviously put her creative genius and culinary skills to work. Bam! She nailed it.
The Tandem DIPA from Tenaya Creek Brewery was a new beer for me and is a limited special release. Grab a bottle before they’re all gone, beer geeks, as it’s worth a try. It has the typical characteristics of an IPA with a bit of earthiness. Mild bitterness and extra hoppy goodness.
These amazing dinners with generous pourings are $40 (not including tip – please tip their great servers!). Talk about value!
During and after dinner, we were treated to the musical stylings of Dino DiNicolo. What a talented man! I just checked his tour schedule and it’s amazing he has time to play at the Pumphouse – check him out!
The next beer dinner will be during BC Craft Beer Month on October 19th. There will be a six-course brewmaster’s dinner with six BC brewmasters on hand to pour their own beers and mingle with the crowd. Tickets are $50 and more information can be found on The Pumphouse’s Facebook page or their website. I’d suggest you get your tickets soon as this will undoubtedly be a sellout!
Thanks again to The Pumphouse staff, chef Daniela and Beerthirst for another excellent event. We continue to look forward to the next creative menu!