The other night I hosted a Beer & Food pairing evening as the detectives among you will have already deduced by the rather simplistic title. Six Beers, six courses and six people sounded like the start of satanic ritual however that was the outlay for the evening. The course and style of beer were chosen out of a hat to make it a little more challenging than a normal pairing with a couple of difficult combinations getting pulled out of the hat.
Course one: Mill Street Weizenbock and Tomato Napoleon
We kicked things off with Mill Streets Weizenbock, it wasn’t available in 6 Packs the LCBO (boo) so was picked up at the store in Toronto. For a starter it packed a punch at 7.5% and combined with the Tomato Napoleon to give a really light tasting course.
Course two: California Spring salad and St.Ambroise Apricot Wheat
Fruity course of the night. This was my personal favourite pairing, the Apricot of the beer complimented the Californian Salad to give a real taste of summer for these cold winter nights.
Course 3: Shrimp and Chorizo soup with Warsteiner
The first main course of the evening this was paired with a Pilsner. The Soup was a little spicy so the crisp taste of the Pilsner took the edge of the spice meaning we could wolf a lot of it down our necks. It was after this course we started to feel full.
Course 4: Blue Cheese Steak & Stella Artois
Stella Artois, lovingly referred to as ‘Wife Beater’ in the UK seemed to be the perfect accompaniment to a juicy Steak. It was another Pilsner but the category given was Belgium with no restrictions on style. Precisely cooked for 7 minutes on each side the Steak came out an accurate medium. I wasn’t sure how the blue cheese would wash down with the Pilsner but again the crisp taste of a Pilsner enhanced the flavour.
Course 5: Apple Caramel Tart and Amsterdam Beer Boneshaker
This was probably the most difficult pairing of the night, a dessert and an IPA. As IPA’s are more suited for lighter foods the choice to go with an Apple tart was proven to be a great one. The Crumbliness of the Tart really brought out the hoppy bitterness in the IPA and ended up being one of the favourite courses.
Course 6: Mill Street Coffee Porter & Chocolate Chip Brownies
Last and by many means least was the final dessert course I was responsible for. I decide to go for a Chocolate dish and combine it with the Craft Beer version of an after dinner Coffee. It should have worked a treat however there were a couple of problems, not with the beer though, 1) we were all pretty full by this course, 2) A few of us were pretty merry by this course, 3) I managed to burn the Brownies into Chocolate bricks.
In review I would say 6 courses was probably the right amount of food and beer. I would like to do it again but next time have the pairings already figured out and to only you use Canadian beer, as this time people could bring whatever brand of beer they wanted as long as it was in the category given.