Monday, January 30, 2012

Eight Beer Fantasy recap by Shane Campbell.

Following is Shane Campbell's review of the Eight Beer Fantasy yesterday at Majid's. 

The Eight Beer Fantasy at Majid's on Sunday, January 29.

I can't say enough good things about this experience. It wasn't just an ideal venue and flawless presentation, but the careful thought placed into the pairings by mastermind Stephen Dennison. While some of the edibles were special for the occasion, they were extensions of what the kitchen usually prepares, and the beers are those on the everyday list at Majid's. Consequently, what was gleaned was very useful, as well as being delicious to learn.


I just returned from the Eight Beer Fantasy pairing at Majid's. For those of you who were at the Whiskey Roulette I would say that for me this actually topped that experience in terms of food/beverage/presentation. It was not as much fun though because you guys weren't there!

There was a full house for this one; I believe 22 - 24 people. Everyone was very social and there was a lot more cross discussion this time. Roger Baylor did a masterful job of describing the beer making process and how it applied to the different beers we were sampling. His colorful descriptions included personal anecdotes from his travels in Europe and elicited many comments from the attendees. Roger is a consummate communicator and a natural teacher.

Stephen, was again the polished entertainer and he went well beyond the Roulette experience this time with an impressive array of small plates. What a meal! We had deviled eggs with ham and salmon, giant shrimp cocktail, filet mignon with mushrooms, Persian chicken with goat cheese fritters. My favorite was the dessert dish; fresh strawberries with Frangelico crème. That paired with the Chokolat Stout was sublime.

Of course he created a couple of beer based cocktails that were icing on the cake. In fact, the final, a digestif, was quite amazing. It was so concentrated and complex that it was like tasting port wine for the first time. Stephen described so many steps in the process for making this wonderful drink that my eyes glazed over and Roger commented that types like Stephen these days are as much akin to molecular chemists as bar tenders. Throughout, Joey and Majid were a whirlwind of activity, keeping us supplied with each course. At the end, Stephen introduced Chef Brandon Lewis to a huge round of applause.

My thanks to Joey, Majid, Chef Brandon, RogerB, and StephenD for a most excellent beer pairing on a wonderful Sunday afternoon!

P.S. Roger is planning a special beer pairing with the Frenchman for March. He is very excited about this and as he talked about the French cuisine and how it would be paired with the biere de garde I couldn't help but get excited too. I hope some of you decide to cross over and indulge in this decadent feast.

P.P.S Stephen, the BBC Bourbon Barrel Stout, Fernet Branca, Espresso-Walnut Gomme is a signature drink! I really want another. Are you sure everything in that is legal?

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