Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Beer Pairing

I was luckily chosen to take part in this month’s Foodbuzz 24 event. A beer pairing meal was on my agenda. It’s been a few years since I did my first one so I researched around a bit to gather ideas. I kept things simple and rounded up a few of my beer loving friends and presented  a six-course beer pairing menu.

Gougeres
St. Bernardus Wit

gougeres

st. bernardus wit

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SF – Beer Day

ANCHOR BREWING

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Boy’s and my second day in SF was full of beer and fun. It started at 11AM at Anchor Brewing where we went on their popular brewery tour. The brewery has history way back to the late 1800’s which is pretty amazing. It’s been through a list of different owners and in 1965 it was purchased by Fritz Maytag (of the Maytag appliances family) who saved it from going under. We even saw Fritz working in his office!

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The tour was informative and fun as we got to walk through the whole brewery checking out each process in the beer making. And it ended with the highly anticipated beer tasting. I was surprised at how generously they were pouring their pours. Six beers about 8oz each. I didn’t get through all six – it was too much. The first beer poured was Anchor Steam and man was it good. So cool and fresh straight from draft. It was definitely a nice morning treat.

CITY BEER STORE

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After our fun little brewery tour we were off to our lunch destination and Boy suggested we stop by City Beer Store saying “it’s on the way.” Beer establishments are often “on the way” it seems. Anyhow I’m glad we stopped by because it’s a cute little store with over three hundred beers for sale along with a few beers on tap for you to sip on while persuing their selection. An ingenious idea. I had a glass of Marin Brewing’s White Knuckle from their draft while gathering a bundle of lambics and gueuzes not readily available in LA. White Knuckle is Marin’s double IPA and we were pretty lucky to come across because Marin Brewing is distributed only in a few places these days. It was so frickin good and now I’m sad we can’t drink it in LA.

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TORONADO

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After lunch we had to stop by at Toronado, possibly Boy’s favorite beer bar ever. A few years ago when we were hanging out here sippin on our La Folie we witnessed the awesome beer drinking dog. I was hoping we’d see him this time around but no such luck.

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However we drank some quality beers. I had a glass of Russian River’s Pliny the Elder, one of my favorite beers, and Moonlight Brewing’s Reality Czeck. Pliny the Elder is a double IPA. I’m a big fan of IPAs and DIPAs. I was hoping Toronado would have Pliny the Younger which is a triple IPA (although generally catergorized as DIPA). Both the Elder and Younger have an intoxicating hops aroma, floral and piny. The Reality Czeck was great too – nice malt flavor. It really reminds me of Victory Brewing’s Prima Pils, an excellent pilsner.

SF – 21st Amendment Brewery

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While I have my food needs Boy has equally important beer needs. After Manresa (my need) we stopped by 21st Amendment Brewery for a beer (his need). They are the brewery that makes that not so tasty watermelon lager. However they brew some damn good IPAs too which are right up my alley. I went with their double IPA, Hop Crisis. It’s got hops and it ain’t shy about it.

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It’s also got some alcohol. At 11.8% ABV it was going to put me over for the night. I couldn’t finish my glass. After all I did have a few beers and twelve courses of wine beforehand. The Hop Crisis was tasty but I wouldn’t recommend it as a night cap.

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It’s hard to believe now but having the Hop Crisis at the end of the night kicked up both Boy’s and my appetite! Unfortunately at that hour we could not successfully locate anything good to eat. Or even anything bad to eat. But it was a fun end to our first day in SF!

Bloggers ‘N’ Beer

blogger n beer menu

I attended the very delicious Bloggers ‘N’ Beer event at Library Bar with the tasting menu created by beer sommelier Christina Perozzi. The beer choices were excellent and the menu came in these little library cards, all in order from lightest to strongest. Ok, I’m a sucker for cute things and the library card menus were brilliant!

Back to the beers.. here was the menu:

1. 1903 Prohibition Lager – Craftsman Brewery (Pasadena, CA)

2. Blanche de Chambly – Unibroue (Chambly, Quebec)

3. Saison Dupont – Brasserie Dupont (Tourpes-Leuze, Belgium)

4. Maudite – Unibroue (Chambly, Quebec)

5. Inversion IPA – Deschutes Brewery (Bend, Oregon)

6. Black Butte Porter – Deschutes Brewery (Bend, Oregon)

7. Road Dog Porter – Flying Dog Brewery (Denver, CO)

8. Westmalle Trappist Tripel – Brouwerig Westmalle (Province of Antwerp, Belgium)

I think Boy and I have tried all of those before, except the Road Dog Porter. My beer memory is not so good as Boy’s but why do I need beer memory when I can just turn to him and say “hey, did we try this before”? I know, so lazy of me. Hey it’s equal exchange – he provides beer & beer knowledge and I provide food and somewhat truthful food knowledge.

I really gotta give it to Boy though for introducing me to quality beer and really piquing my interest in this delicious drink. Before I was just a beer drinker, and now a more discerning beer drinker. Seriously I’ve never met anyone who was so into beer as he is. To my dismay his fridge is always packed with beers and no food. I practically forced him to start this blog beerblahblog.blogspot.com telling him that only cool people blog. Hehe.

The menu actually had one of my favorite beers ever – Saison Dupont from Brasserie Dupont. I have hailed Brasserie Dupont as my favorite while sipping on some delicious Saison Dupont from Boy’s living room at least a few times while raising my chalice up and admiring the beautiful lacing. I can’t get enough of that yeasty character, a reason why I also really love Brut Champagne. There are only two alcohols that ever make me really swoon – that is a really good saison and really really good dry Champagne. Ok, and maybe a really piney floral double or triple IPA.

christina perozzi & friend

Christina on the right with friend

Christina came over and talked to us for a bit about the beers we were drinking. She’s so knowledgeable and easy going too. Very cool that she is considered one of the top beer experts on the West Coast. Go grrls! All I know is imma be drinking more beer and try to learn more too.

Check out her blog www.christinaperozzi.com.

Pics from the event (not taken by me) HERE.

Library Bar

Beer Pairing Dinner for Birthday Boy

Back in the middle of December Boy added another ring to his tree trunk. We usually take each out for birthdays but I wanted to do something a little bit more special, something a bit more tailored to what he loves.

To put it simply, the Boy loves beer.

Hmmm, at first I thought about getting him a case of Westvleteren Trappist ale which is not available in the states but I decided against that when the mailing seemed a bit dodgy. What if it never showed up? (Which has happened to Boy before with international purchases). So instead I got him a case of delicious domestic beer. Now this is not just any domestic beer, but Stone Brewery’s 10th Anniversary IPA. Only a limited batch was released and lucky me, I picked up the last full case of these at Beverage Warehouse.

But the real gift was a dinner – a five-course beer and food pairing dinner plus the addition of a special pre-dinner nibble.

Iberico Bellota Lomo, Zonin Prosecco

I got the lomo from the first batch of em (after FDA approval) that was sent over to the U.S. back last summer. It is seriously stupendous. I love pork. Especially the cured kind.

Marshmallow-Stuffed Sweet Potato Croquettes with Cranberry Chutney, Kiuchi Brewery Hitachino Nest White Ale

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Bacon Croque Madame, Ommegang Witte

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Roquefort & Roasted Garlic on Charcoal Cracker, Moylan’s Old Blarney Barleywine Style Ale

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Skirt Steak with Arugula, Harissa & Ricotta Salata, Alesmith YuleSmith

Ricotta Fritters with Prosecco Berry Compote, Girardin 1882 Gueuze Black Label

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Boy proclaimed “This is the best meal I’ve ever had!” Of course we know what really won him over is the overflowing of all sorts of delicious beers. And the croque madame.