Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vegetarian Beer Dinner (the meal is veggie, that is!)

I've been in the beer biz since 1991. I've been a vegetarian since 1991. It's a coincidence (even though beer is indeed a fine vegetarian food stuff).

But since that date, there have been no beer dinners in which I've participated (either professionally or for fun) at which I could partake of most of the meal.

That is, until now!

Chef Klein (r)

[Pictured are l-r: Samantha Withall, beer and wine buyer for Roots Markets; Vali Klein, chef at Great Sage.]

Thursday 26 June, Great Sage Restaurant in Clarksville, Maryland is hosting a Vegetarian Dinner featuring the beers of the Clipper City Brewing Company.It's the Maryland kickoff for the brewery's new line of beers - Oxford Organic Ales.

Special guest speaker will be Chris O’Brien, award-winning author of Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World. And I'll be giving a short presentation on what cask ale is, and then tapping the cask (Oxford Organics Amber Ale).

Here's is Chef Vali Klein's menu:

  • Welcome
    Clipper City MärzHon (draught)
    the nation's best Vienna Lager, two years running.
  • 1st course
    Roasted Shitakes, over Spinach with a Tomato Fennel Vinaigrette.
    Paired with fresh cask of Oxford Organics Amber Ale.
  • 2nd course
    Asparagus and Roasted Red Pepper Filo Purse with a Creamy Goat Cheese Sauce (or without, for vegans)
    Paired with Small Craft Warning Über Pils (bottle).
  • Intermezzo
    Raspberry Sorbet with Oxford Organic Raspberry Wheat (draught).
  • 3rd course
    Thai Yellow Curry with Vegan 'Beef 'Tips and Mangos
    Paired with Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale (bottle).
  • 4th Course
    Aztec Chocolate Mousse (dairy-less chocolate mousse with a hint of chili peppers!)
    Paired with Peg Leg Imperial Stout (bottle).

Thai-style yellow curry

I'm particularly intrigued by the pairing of curry with Loose Cannon.

Clipper City's Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale is a somewhat different interpretation of the India Pale Ale style (IPA) than that of some other American IPAs. Rather than solely emphasizing the structure of hops (that's the word winemakers use to indicate bitterness), the beer plays up the other nature of hops: its herbal character. Hops are herbs, after all. Thus pairing this herbal beer with the Thai-inspired yellow curry should be a delicious combination.

[UPDATE: go here for photos from dinner.]

The Washington Post recently published a review (favorable) of Great Sage.

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