Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sam Adams Pairing Dinner

Last night Matt and I went to a Sam Adams Pairing dinner at The Local here in Minneapolis. I know some of you local, micro-brew purists are turning your noses up at Sam Adams. We have a lot of respect for them as brewery that build up from being super small to being the biggest craft brewer there is plus, they are the biggest domestic brewer since everyone else has been sold to a foreign company. We have also heard that they have mentored other small brewer just getting started and how great is that. To top it off we were served some really interesting beers last night. Let's go through the meals, shall we?
The first course was a Green Ox charcuterie platter served with the original Sam Adams. I didn't get a photo of this course but, if you've ever had Mike Phillips cured meat you know it was good and the beer stood up to it well.
Sam Adams Pairing Dinner
The second course had us really intrigued, Shrimp Salami with Grilled Ramps. The shrimp salami was so interesting. It has such a light flavor and a soft texture. It took me two bites to decide that I liked the texture. The beer we were served with this was the Summer Ale. I didn't find it very different than the original Sam Adams & it was perhaps a little strong for the light food.
Sam Adams Pairing Dinner
Course three was an arugula salad with mushrooms, blackberries and cheddar cheese. It was supposed to be morel mushrooms but Minnesota weather has not cooperated. To me this was the weakest course as I felt like something about the salad ingredients didn't blend well. Also it was served with the Cherry Wheat Beer which was the least favorite beer of the evening, the consensus seemed to be cough syrup.
Sam Adams Pairing Dinner
But that is ok because course four was a huge winner, both the food and the beer. The dish was perfectly white halibut served over a fava bean pureƩ with micro-greens and a lemon reduction. Fantastic! The halibut was cooked perfectly but, the true star was that fava bean pureƩ especially with a little of the lemon. This course was served with the Imperial White Ale which might have been both Matt and my favorite of the evening. It had that slight sour flavor we so love in beer. As an imperial it packs quite a kick though. It really worked with the dish as well.
Sam Adams Pairing Dinner
Yes, that is an empty spoon. We were given a little palate cleanser of a granita made from Rustic Saison. That little scoop was eaten before I could get my camera out. I'm not a fan of saisons and their slight grassy flavor but Matt enjoyed it.
Sam Adams Pairing Dinner
Course five was another success, lamb chops wrapped in Green Ox coppa served with a celeriac mash and spring peas. That lamb wrapped with the salty coppa was so tasty (and oddly smelled of popcorn, not a bad thing). Matt is not a fan of lamb yet, he cleaned these to the bone. This dish was served with the Imperial Double Bock, yummy. It's a big dark beer with lots of coffee flavor and went well with the big flavors of the dish.
Sam Adams Pairing Dinner
Then on to dessert, a dark chocolate cake (that I can't remember the exact name of) with a 2 Gingers Whiskey sauce. The boys at the table absolutely loved that whiskey sauce (I prefer that whiskey mixed with a little ginger ale over ice). This was served with the Imperial Stout, a wonderful strong cream stout that is almost dessert on its own.
Sam Adams Pairing Dinner Sam Adams Pairing Dinner
Sam Adams Pairing Dinner
Then came the real treat of the evening, we got to try some of the Infinium, a champagne style beer that you can't get anywhere in the states anymore (apparently it came out around Christmas and sold out right away). What a lovely beer again it had the slight sour taste we love. It's almost a tease to get to taste it and not be able to buy anymore!

This was the third event we've gone to at The Local and they really do a great job with it. Their chef always creates interesting meals and we appreciate his efforts to use more local and seasonal products (so unexpected for an Irish pub). Plus everyone there is always welcoming and works hard to make for a fun evening. To top it off you can't beat the price, I'll just say this dinner was a steal! I understand their Summer beer dinner is going to be something really special so keep an eye out for it!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at OR at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski


Maris (In Good Taste) said...

Looks like a fantastic evening! The food was all so different and very interesting. The cake looked like a slice of heaven!

vanillasugarblog said...

shrimp salami!!!!
chocolate cake with whiskey!!

Manisha said...

I always wonder how big the glasses of beer are at the beer pairing dinners. Were they all about the size of a champagne glass? Sounds like a yummy evening!

kat said...

Manisha - the first beer was 12 oz & then the rest were about 8oz except for the Infinium which was in the champagne glass.

Deborah said...

I'm not a beer drinker, but the food looks great!

Alicia Foodycat said...

What a great looking meal! I'm not really surprised that the salad was your least favourite - I looked at it and thought "blackberries? really?"

Jenn @leftoverqueen said...

Sounds like a great night! I love these kinds of evenings!

Lori said...

Uhoh, I like the cherry wheat. I must have something for cough syrup. :) What a fun meal! Everything looks great!

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