Menus like the one above are a dime a dozen. Many places are now taking beer and food seriously (as they should), but very few take it as seriously as Meddlesome Moth. This was evidenced by the Tutored Beer Dinner held on October 7 with none other than Stephen Beaumont, author of The World Atlas of Beer. This beautiful book gave readers a look into countries other than their own to envision the vast culture of beer and the growing interest in craft beer all around the world. Pick it up...I dare you to put it down.
The dinner started off with a meet and greet and a glass of Saison Dupont, you know, to loosen you up a bit before the feast. As Stephen noted, Saison Dupont is the perfect 'appetite stimulant.' And as Tim Webb once stated (as noted by Stephen), 'There is no best beer in the world. But if there was, it'd be Saison Dupont.' It's true. Its unbelievably fruity effervescence and dry finish leaves your palate craving something more and something salty.
First Course: Little Neck Clams with Barley Miso
Pairing: Hitachino Nest Ancient Nipponia - Imperial Pils
Thoughts: Sweet aromas of both were a nice compliment, but the beer's flavors were very soft and subdued compared with the dish. Still, both tasted amazing on their own.
Second Course: Veal Sweetbread with Black Truffle and Scotch Cream
Pairing: Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen - Smoked Wheat Beer
Thoughts: This was my second favorite pairing of the night. Somehow, the sweetbread softened the smokiness and fruitiness of the beer. This pairing was decadence at its best. Oh, and that little pastry with salt and cracked black pepper? Bag that shit and sell it in the stores!
Third Course: Crispy Chicken with Candied Citrus
Pairing: Baladin Nora - Traditional Ale/Spiced Ale
Thoughts: Best pairing of the night (and everyone would agree with me on this one). This Italian ale had so much complexity with an intense pepperiness even Franklin BBQ would be jealous of. The candied citrus and the pepperiness went perfectly together while the citrus mellowed the pepper. But then, out of nowhere, maybe 15 seconds after eating, the flavors of the beer started coming back as if you just drank it. Amazing!
Note: I was slightly disappointed sitting at the head of the table with Stephen for this course. This prevented me from carnivorously devouring my chicken like a caveman. Typically I'm quarantined as to not embarrass or disturb the people around me.
Fourth Course: Roast Curried Goat
Pairing: Meantime IPA - English India Pale Ale
Thoughts: Meh. There was too little spice to the goat to stand up to the intense hoppiness.
Fifth Course: Caramom Melba Toast with Pear Butter and Warm Raclette
Pairing: Moa Brewing St Josephs Tripel - Tripel
Thoughts: The flavors of the pear butter and the tripel were a match made in heaven with its similar fruity pear aroma and flavor. While the stinky cheese and the tripel definitely paired together, I would say the pairing was more interesting than enjoyable. The two together brought this intense pungent flavor that didn't taste all that great.
Sixth Course: Indian Pudding with Malt Cracklings and Cream
Pairing: Dogfish Palo Santo Marron
Thoughts: Seriously, is there a better beverage to pair with dessert than beer? No. I say again. No.
Not only were we served great food with great beer, we were tutored through the whole thing with funny anecdotes and explanations from Stephen. His knowledge of beer was practically personified as he was explaining each beer, leaving you even more excited to eat and drink with him. I was fortunate enough to sit with him and it was an absolute pleasure. I loved his stories of his various travels around the world and how the beer culture is changing in each country. He was very genuine and loved listening to other people's thoughts on beer as well.
If you get a chance to attend a Tutored Beer Dinner at Meddlesome Moth, I highly recommend it. The food is absolutely top notch and the beer speaks for itself. Bravo! Encore!