Pizzeria Mimosa’s first beer tasting dinner was a huge success – there was a large turnout to join us for some wonderful food and great beer. Pizzeria Mimosa has had several wine tasting dinners, but this was our first beer and food event. We had quite a nice mix of people from those who had been to a beer tasting dinner before to those who really don’t drink beer much at all. Some of our guests had experienced beer tasting dinners in Germany and England, while others were local experiences.
The table was in a horseshoe shape to allow for more interaction between guests. As you can see in the picture, it was beautifully set with a white linen tablecloth, and each place setting consisted of a wineglass and water glass; Sierra Nevada provided each guest with a beer notebook for taking beer notes, a pen, a reusable grocery bag, a bottle opener, and a very unusual looking glass with Sierra Nevada’s logo etched on it. Jeff Eder, Sierra Nevada Brewery’s area manager, brought four very different beers that our culinary team, paired with four courses of food created specifically to match each beer to create an amazing beer tasting dinner event! Jeff was very passionate about the craft of beer making and his passion and excitement was infectious and got everyone excited about the food and beer. It was a fun, casual atmosphere with guests asking Jeff questions, as well as guests sharing their observations and personal experiences.
I am really not a beer drinker so I brought my husband and his son along to help me! They both really enjoy a good beer and were able to give me some great insight into how the different beers paired with the food. I learned a lot about beer and how to pair it with different foods. Mainly about the differences between ales and lagers, what the four main ingredients for making a wonderful beer are, and the art of either pairing a beer with a complimenting food flavor, a similar flavor, or a contrasting but compatible flavor.
The first course featured a brand new lager - Nooner Pilsner. It was paired with a Mortadella Corn Dog on a stick on a bed of honey mustard served in Pizzeria Mimosa’s white bowls with sloping sides. Mortadella is a Bologna from Italy and it was breaded with a mixture of Polenta and Pistachios; this gave it the needed “crunch” but none of the greasiness that is sometimes associated with traditional deep frying. The honey mustard is a new creation from the owner of Sierra Nevada; it had amazing flavor and complimented the Corn Dog. The beer had a light refreshing flavor and paired beautifully with the Corn Dog; bringing out the subtle flavor of the Polenta and the Mortadella without overpowering them.
The second course featured Kellerweis, which is a Hefeweizen beer. It was paired with a Spinach Salad which included four kinds of Apples, grilled Brie, Walnuts and a Balsamic Vinaigrette presented in a Pretzel Cone. The Pretzel Cone was a really playful and unique way to present the salad. I loved how the grilled Brie went with the Pretzel Cone; the saltiness of the cone complimented the creaminess of the Brie. The Apples and the Walnuts gave a nice crunch to the salad; the Vinaigrette was the perfect topping for all the different ingredients in the salad. My husband isn’t normally a fan of Hefeweizen beers, but when he tasted this beer he was really surprised at the taste; he really enjoyed the banana and clove flavors that he got from the beer. I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not but when I raised my glass I was surprised that you really could smell bananas and cloves! The unique flavor of the beer complimented the salad perfectly, cut through the creaminess of the Brie, and paired well with the Apples in the salad.
The third course featured Pale Ale. It was paired with Braised Pork Belly served with roasted Root Vegetables consisting of Carrots, Sun Chokes, Parsnips, and Beets. The Pork Belly was braised with herbs, such as Star Anise; and glazed with Pineapple and Brandy. The glaze gave the Pork Belly a glistening crust and a sweet flavor which helped cut the fattiness of the Pork Belly. The earthy flavor of the beer contrasted perfectly with the sweetness of the glaze; while complimenting the earthiness of the root vegetables. This beer is a favorite of my husband so he was really happy to see it on the menu.
The final course, desert, featured Bigfoot Ale. This is a very unique type of beer - a barleywine. This beer was created to be a strong, robust beer with the refined intensity of a wine. It was originally brewed during a time when French wine products were outlawed but people wanted something to drink with a similar high alcohol content. Its other unique property is that under the proper conditions, it can age like a fine wine, developing new flavors and character as it matures in the bottle. It was paired with an Italian Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding topped with Whipped Cream and a Toffee Bourbon Sauce, drizzled with a Salted Dark Chocolate Sauce and Red Hawaiian Sea Salt sprinkled on top. The unique flavor and the high alcohol content of this beer allows it to cut through the richness of the dessert.
Overall everyone seemed to have a great time and, if the empty plates after each course were any indication, we seemed to have chosen our pairings well. At the end, quite a few guests stayed to chat and share more of their beer and food pairing experiences and to see what others thought about pairing beer with different types of food. This was such a success that we hope to do another one soon; so if you missed this one you will get another chance to join in the fun.
Pizzeria Mimosa's Blogger