Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Irish Rover Too beer dinner recap ... a fine, fine evening.

On Monday evening, Diana and I attended the Irish Rover Too's inaugural beer dinner at the pub's downtown LaGrange, Kentucky location.

It was a supremely successful event, with 40 people in attendance. As you can see below, the cuisine was broadly Central European, the sort of fare you might expect in Austria and Hungary, but the beers (arranged with the loving assistance of "Beer Dave" of Bryant Distributing) weren't restricted to that area of the world.

Apertif beer: Wittekerke Wit (Belgium)
I chose Wit as a means of introducing the idea of spicing a beer. Many in attendance were familiar with Blue Moon, but didn't know the story of the style's Belgian origins.

Appetizer: Krautstrudel
A cabbage filled puff pastry, Bacon, onion, paprika, cabbage, sour cream, red pepper and butter, with NABC Kaiser 2nd Reising (pre-Prohibition Pilsner; Indiana).
By the book for this pairing, with a German-hopped Pilsner, but also providing a chance to explain American pre-Prohibition brewing.

Soup: Lecho
Onion, pepper, tomato and chicken stock.
Rockies Hazed and Infused (American Pale Ale; Colorado).
This pairing was a blind stab that turned out well. My guess was that the spicy and slightly acidic tomato stock would cancel out the flavor hops in the ale, and leave aroma hops in the nose. It's good to be lucky.

Entree choices:
Pork Chops with sauerkraut
With new potatoes. Butter, onion, sauerkraut, beef broth, red wine, green pepper, bay leaf, paprika, salt and pepper ... baked.

Or, Chicken Bacska Style
Bacon, onion, paprika, salt, chicken broth, butter, rice, green pepper, tomato and parsley ... baked.
With samples of both Ayinger Oktoberfest (Bavarian Oktoberfest) &
Tucher Bajuvator Doppelbock (Bavarian Double Bock).
I'm not sure it's possible to improve on classic soft, amber Marzen and malty, sweetish Doppelbock with dishes like these. I had the pork chops, which were succulent, as was the tender and appropriate sauerkraut.

Dessert: Apple Strudel
Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout (Oatmeal Stout; England).
The silky chocolate notes of oatmeal, a bit of roastiness to set off the apples.

Closing beer: St. Bernardus Abt (Abbey Ale; Belgium).
The real dessert, a secular equivalent of the currently notorious Westleteren 12, brewed by the people who used to do contract work for the St. Sixtus abbey.

Actually, my opening beer was a pint of Fuller's ESB, still one of my favorites, shared with the inimitable Michael Reidy, owner of the establishment and the original Irish Rover on Frankfort Avenue.

I readily accepted an invitation to do it again, perhaps in January.

1 comment:

edward parish said...

Did Michael Reidy make you pay for your own meal? hahahaha... Glad you are doing these kind of things.