As promissed here is Justin Kunert’s run down of the beers featured at the Bruery beer dinner @ Belching Beaver Tavern & Grill in Vista.
I had the pleasure of joining Chris at the Belching Beaver Tavern and Grill in Vista for their beer paring dinner with one of my all time favorite breweries, The Bruery, out of Orange County. As Chris mentioned in his article (see link below), I will be talking up all the delicious liquid companions to our incredible dishes This event kicked off The Bruery tap takeover at Belching Beaver Tavern – so you can go taste the beers in this article, or elect a different selection from their 15 tap handles at the bar, while supplies last. The 15 beers on tap include options from both The Bruery and The Bruery Terreux. The Bruery specializes in Belgians and barrel aged beers, and their sour and wild beers fall under The Bruery Terreux brand.
As an additional perk to the dinner, we were given early access to this tap list. Taking advantage of this I grabbed the Sour in the Rye, a 7.7% abv wild ale. I loved this beer, and if you’re a sour enthusiast it is a must try. Soon afterwards, we went on to what would but my first beer dinner that actually included food. It started off with the 7.1% abv OR XATA Blonde Ale. This is their twist on Horchata, a sweet milk drink. Delightful aromas of vanilla and cinnamon accompany this blonde ale, before reaching your mouth with a slightly creamy, refreshingly light touch on the tongue.
The OR XATA welcome beer
With dessert like aromas, I found this an interesting beer to start the evening with. But as a blonde ale, it was really drinkable and transitioned nicely to our first dish.
Al Pastor Tostada paired with Frederick H.
The al pastor was definitely my favorite meal of the night, and the 4.4% abv Frederick H. was the perfect companion. It is light, refreshing, and its slight tartness paired nicely with the mild spiciness of the al pastor.
The next pairing included a beer that will reign more familiar with the palettes of IPA fans. Mosaic hops are added to this wild ale to create the 6.3% abv Humulus Terreux, which drinks like a pale ale, but with an appropriately funky flavor and dry finish. The bitterness matched well with the sweetness of the melon.
The next installment provided one of my favorite moments of the evening. The beer was one I had enjoyed many times: the 7.5% abv Oude Tart. It’s a favorite of mine, for its subtly sweet oak aromas and sourness that tingles your cheeks at the back of your jaw. Chef Ramiro paired this with Venison meatballs, a creamy gravy, and lingonberry sauce.
Call me uncultured, but I had never tried a lingonberry before. The chef mentioned that when he first tried this beer, it reminded him of lingonberries. After trying my first lingonberry, the resemblance was uncanny, and it gave me a whole new perspective on the beer. For me, this defined the intrigue of these events, and stoked my fascination in different experts’ tastes and experiences with beer.
Already 4 beers deep, The Bruery showed no mercy for the last couple pairings, and brought out some heavy hitters with their 11.1% abv Share This: Mole and the 11.3% abv 9 Ladies Dancing.
Mole Skewers paired with Share This: Mole
The Share This: Mole has a forward, in your face boozy aroma, but is supported by welcomingly sweet roasty and cinnamon smells. Upon tasting it you start to notice the spiciness from the added ancho chiles and poblano peppers, and sweetness from the cocoa nibs and vanilla. It is a pretty complex beer with lots of competing flavors, but ends up providing a superb balance between the high alcohol, spiciness, and sweetness. Chef Ramiro said the mole skewers were an obvious choice to pair with the beer, and they were indeed a great match.
Grilled Pound Cake paired with 9 Ladies Dancing
The last dish and drink combination was the tiramisu inspired 9 Ladies Dancing paired with Chef Ramiro’s unique take on tiramisu. This was delicious. The beer, with sweet overtones from the added vanilla and chocolate, matched perfectly with the sweetness of the dish as the dessert helped cut the booziness of the beer. The coffee chantilly on the dessert brought out the coffee flavors in the beer. The intertwining of layers and flavor made for a wonderful finish to the evening, or so we thought.
For a surprise night-cap, The Bruery generously brought out their 6.1% abv Sourrento, a sour blonde ale inspired by the southern Italian liqueur Limoncello. Lemon and vanilla aromas filled your nose before the sour ale provided a sweet, refreshing pucker and a dry finish. This beer, among the others, speaks to the creative innovations that come with beers from The Bruery. They push the limits of originality and play with flavors that keep your mind guessing and your taste buds craving more. Go out and try some of their brews at the Belching Beaver Tavern and Grill!
Words and Pics by: Justin Kunert
You can read about the food from the event Here