All words and pics by Katie Cobb (who is leaving us at NCF but has been a true pleasure and inspiration)
I cannot begin to express how excited I was about this dinner, and I was not disappointed. I am writing about the beer portion of this dinner but I will also talk about some of the food, particularly the dishes that paired so well with the beers that were served.
To begin, I must talk about Modern Times. They are one of my favorite breweries in San Diego. Their main location is in Point Loma, with a tasting room in North Park, so they are in no way a North County brewery, but you can find their beers all over San Diego and they are wonderful. They will be 3 years old this May. I am proud to say that I was at their grand opening when they had a measly about 5 beers on tap, they have now expanded so much as to reach distribution in multiple states. They have taken off. And it is all because of their creativity in blending styles of beers in the perfect way. I find that few of their beers fit into any particular style, and I love that.
So the beers. Modern Times paired up with the wonderful chef of Real Bar & Bistro to provide a spectacular menu paired with the perfect fermented accompaniment (beer). The brewery was represented by Brenden, one of the sales reps, who did a great job enlightening us on the origins, styles, and really, the passion that goes into each of these brews.
The first beer we had was the Blazing World Amber, this beer has been one of my classicly favorites from this brewery. It is a hoppy amber ale. It is sweet, dank, and bitter making this one beautifully complex beer. This beer was paired with a dry aged beef tartare. I thought this was phenomenal. The dank, hoppy taste of the beer paired perfectly with the dank, earthy flavors of the aged beef. If you have never had aged beef, it is wonderful. this particular beef was dry aged for 45 days, which really brings out the earthy, nutty, true beef flavor. It was delightful.
The second beer was a brand new release called Fruitlands Sour Gose. This beer is a special release (specifically for their Festival of Funk if I’m not mistaken), that is light, tart, and a tad bit sweet. If you’re not familiar, a gose style beer is a beer brewed with salt water. This beer is then kettle soured with Brett to bring out the wild, earthy, flavors of the wheat and other ingredients. There is also the addition of sour cherries which adds some sweet fruity taste to it as well as some tartness. Overall this is a pretty light beer for the style, not too tart. And oh many did it pair so well with the pork belly taco. The salty, fatty tastes of the dish were so perfectly balanced by the tart, lightly salty flavors in the beer.
The third course came with another of their core beers, the Fortunate Islands Wheat, which is a hoppy wheat beer. As opposed to the amber in the first course, the hops used in this beer bring out a citrus taste to it which makes it almost tropical or lemony. Combined with the hops, this wheat beer definitely has character, it’s not your average hot-day-baseball-game beer, though it is equally drinkable. This beer was combined with hamachi tataki with some lime and cucumber additions (they were much fancier than that so feel free to look at the menu as my descriptions do not do the food justice). The light citrus of the food was beautiful with the citrus hop of the beer. Delish.
The fourth, and my FAVORITE course was served with the Black House Coffee Stout. This beer is another one of their core beers that I. just. love. First of all, in addition to brewing phenomenal beers, Modern Times also roasts their own coffee. I know. Could they get any more rad? Secondly, this oatmeal stout is just lovely. The oatmeal makes the mouth feel oh so smooth with a robust coffee taste. This beer was paired with probably the most delicious duck breast I have ever had in my life. If you are not a believer in food and beer pairings you would be after this. The espresso, roasted notes of the beer was the perfect accent to the smokey-gamey flavors of the duck. Oh my goodness. I was so happy.
And the finally, was a very very VERY close second to the last course. This beer, Orderville IPA is probably one of the best beers I have had in a long time. It is Modern Times’ new core IPA and it is fantastic. I don’t know what the deal is with the trend of danky hops in San Diego lately, but i am loving it. Read into that whatever you want. This IPA, brewed with simcoe and mosaic hops, has a full bodied, hop-forward character that lingers just enough into some sweet, earthy notes. I love it. And this, paired with whatever the hell that daquoise was, was ah-maz-ing. Mainly the pine needle ice cream. It was fantastic with the piney flavors of the IPA and I want it as a beer float every day of the rest of my life. Forever.
So take-aways, Modern Times is amazing. They are doing some really cool, creative things and are involving many parts of the San Diego community, which is pretty rad. Thanks for bearing with me through this post, I know it was long, but it was delicious and I just had so so much say.
3725 Greenwood St. San Diego, CA 92110
124 South Solana Hills Drive, Solana Beach, CA 92075