Summits Wayside Tavern hosted a East Coast Beer Dinner at their Cumming, GA location (about 15 miles north of Atlanta), Monday evening, 19 February 2007. Over 110 beer lovers filled the restaurant.
The participating breweries were:
- Clipper City Brewing Company
- Dogfish Head Brewery
- Highland Brewing Company
- Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Company)
- Sweetwater Brewing Company
- Terrapin Brewing Company
In fact so new was this trend for Atlanta - only 2 years ago were the laws changed to allow higher alcohol beers to be served or sold in Georgia - that the advertising posters had the word "West" taped over with the word "East".
Andy was quite gracious in his introduction of me as representative for the Clipper City Brewing Company. Andy mentioned our commitment to cask ale, and that I had driven down for the event with a firkin of Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale in my car. The photo at the top of the post is of the cask being tapped. Throughout the evening, I received many compliments on the beer. On tap from us were Below Decks Barleywine, Peg Leg Imperial Stout, and Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale.
The format of this dinner was different than that of others I've attended. Participants could order any beer from the taps from the participating breweries; there was no formal pairing of beer and food. But what an extraordinary menu! In past years Andy had hired 'outside' chefs but this year he himself had devised the menu and supervised its preparation.
Before the diners were seated, waiters moved about offering starters:
- Chimay Trappist Ostrich Sliders (like mini-hamburgers, but made with Chimay-marinated ostrich)
- Kobe Beef "Pigs in a Blanket" (Japanese beef sausages)
- Mussels Delaware (Mussels steamed with Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA)
- Roast duck and Laura Chenel goat cheese Quesadillas.
- Plate of artisinal cheeses.
- Mixed Grill of Shrimp & Crawfish cakes, served with a wasabi remoulade
- New Zealand Venison Chop served with Bordeaux truffle sauce and peach-infused caramelized onions
- Each was served with wild game stock fried rice, fresh vegetables, and braised bok choy.
During it all, each brewery representative gave a short presentation. A crackling, feedback-whining microphone only added to the fun. I went first and then the other breweries followed in alphabetical order.
Boston Beer (Samuel Adams)
- 60 Minute IPA
- 90 Minute IPA
- Indian Brown Ale
- Midas Touch Golden Elixir
- Raison d'Etre
- Burton Baton
- Gaelic Ale
- Tasgall Ale
- Cold Mountain Winter Ale
- Black Mocha Stout
- Kashmir India Pale Ale
- Oatmeal Porter
- Imperial Gaelic Ale
Sweetwater Brewing Company
- 420 Extra Pale Ale
- India Pale Ale
- Georgia Brown
- Happy Ending Imperial Stout
- Aged Dubbel
Terrapin Brewing Company
Among those seated at my table were:
Bob Townshend, Atlanta Journal-Constitution beer/music columnist, and editor of Southern Brewing News (r)
Claus Hagelman, national sales manager for Dogfish Brewing Company (l)
Lisa Hanson, publisher of Southern Brewing News
Owen Ogletree, long-time Atlanta advocate of cask ale, columnist for Southern Brewing News, and promoter of the Classic City Brewfest in Athens, GA
and some very enthusiastic beer lovers!
To bid us adieu, Andy served a "decadent vatted beer ice cream sundae". In glasses from each brewery, he layered vanilla bean and chocolate ice creams, topped them with graham crust, and finished them with chocolate mouse, which he made with Valrhona chocolate and infusions of beer from each brewery there that evening.
Summits Wayside has two Atlanta-area locations, each serving over 100 beers apiece on tap, along with a large assortment of bottled beers.