Monday, May 19, 2014

Post Brewing- Chicken and Beer Dinner

Last week Post Brewing had a beer dinner organized by Barley's Angels Colorado.  This event was mix gender so I brought my husband, Larry.  Post Brewing is located in downtown Lafayette and has become a very popular place with the locals.  Along with being a brewery, Post Brewing is a restaurant that specializes in chicken, cooked in many ways and comfort foods.

The night started with checking-in with Deborah Cameron, who is the founder of the Barley's Angels Colorado .   Scheduled as a added activity was a brewery tour with Brew Master, Brian Selders. Cyn Goodman, of the Colorado Beer Trail was there video tapping the event.

We were given 2 beer tickets that were included with the dinner. While we waited, beer sounded really good so as it turned out if you were going on the tour there was a complimentary 5 ounce pour of any beer they had for the event.  The "bar" was a table that had a jockey box on top with three taps; Ol' Zippy, a Premium American Ale that is 4.5% ABV,  Meathooks, Dark Mild Ale at 4.1% ABV, and a collaboration with Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, Bulky Oxen is a session Barley Wine that is 7.7% ABV.

Meathooks, Dark Mild Ale.

Bulky Oxen, a session Barley Wine.

Brew Master, Brian Selders.
The brewery tour was with the Brew Master, Brian Selders. Brian designed the brew house to be very efficient with quality control.  As we know, that is a major issue with small breweries, inconsistency from batch to batch of beer.  The brew house was very clean and very technological. The start of the tour was the grain room then to the main brewing area.  All was clean and shiny, so he probably wasn't brewing that day.  The brew house was very impressive for such a small brewery. Brian brews on a 15 barrel system with 75% of the finish product going into kegs.  He supplies beers for the other restaurants owned by Big Red F.

After the tours were done, Deborah spoke about the upcoming events of Barley's Angels Colorado and Brian Selders spoke about his philosophy of brewing beer for Post.  He brews for the food like what compliments the menu at the restaurant. None of his beers will be big. I know it is disappointed especially with his long employment at Dogfish Head as one of the brewers. But you have to give him credit that he wants the customer to enjoy the beer with any of the dishes on the menu.

First course was a side salad and rosemary cheddar biscuit paired with one of the two beer tickets. I had the dark mild ale that went well with the salad.

The next course was rotisserie chicken with brown gravy, fried chicken with country gravy, and green chili mac & cheese topped with bread crumbs, all was served family style. I had the rotisserie chicken with the brown gravy and chili mac & cheese, I thought the biscuit would have been good with this course as well.

We met some nice people from Denver and Thornton, who we chatted with before and during dinner. Thanks to Deborah Cameron for this event, I really enjoyed the evening. Thanks to Post Brewing for provided the dinner and beer.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Barley's Angels Colorado organized a chocolate and beer pairing at 12 Degree Brewing Co located in Louisville, CO. The chocolate was provided by Robin Autorino of Robin Chocolates, a local business from Longmont, Co.

Jon Howland is owner/brewer of 12 Degree Brewing. He was a home brewer for many years and brewed Belgian style ales. The name "12 Degree" is the European Plato scale that measures the density of beer before fermentation. 12 Degree is a brewpub that serves flatbread pizzas and Belgian style frites. "I describe it as a brewery with the food truck parked inside," Jon Howland said in an interview in the Westword blog.
   The building is historical because it was once a temperance hall!

Robin has been making chocolates for 7 years.  She went to culinary school after a stint in the technology field and after a 14-year career in the military.  She has been professionally making chocolates for 3 years at her retail store, Robin Chocolates. Robin mentioned at the event that she never thought of drinking beer with chocolates.
Robin Autorino and Jon Howland.

Three months ago, Jon Howland decide to sell chocolates in the taproom and ended up choosing Robin Chocolates.  He and Robin spent some time researching the right pairings for this event.

Robin and Jon described the chocolate and beer before each course.

Soleil Saison and Vanilla Pineapple chocolate.
The layers of the Vanilla Pineapple
The first pairing was Vanilla Pineapple with Soleil Saison. The chocolate is 62% with a pineapple pate de fruit layered with Tahitian bean ganache. The Soleil Saison is a classic farmhouse ale that is 6.5% ABV. It's dry with tropical fruit and pepper notes. This was amazing pairing with the chocolate melting in your mouth and the saison complimented the lingering flavors of the chocolate.

Second course was a pairing of Chocolate Caramel Fleur De Sel with Nemesis Dubbel. The caramel is layered with chocolate caramel and sea salt in a dark chocolate shell. The Dubbel is a 7% ABV dark smooth ale with orange and caramel notes. The chocolate complimented the beer with having similar flavors.
Nemesis Dubbel and Chocolate Caramel
Fleur De Sel.
The gooey caramel.

The third course was the chocolate called Africa because it’s an 85% African cocoa in a dark chocolate shell. Very rich and not as sweet as the other chocolates in the other pairings. The beer paired with Africa was the Midnight Fog Quad, a 9.5% ABV that had a molasses and brown sugar flavors.  The pairing was a contrast between the sweeter ale and the less sweet chocolate.

Midnight Fog Quad and Africa chocolate.

For an added bonus we were given two more chocolates that paired with the Midnight Fog Quad. One of the chocolates was a half ganache middle with half caramel with a reduction of the Midnight Fog with coffee and the shell was sprayed with edible silver. The second chocolate was a square caramel with a coffee beer reduction. Both of them paired well with the Quad. 
Silver and Caramel Square chocolates.

The chocolate and beer pairing was so much fun and and I met some wonderful ladies.  This event paired my favorite food and beverage! And with that kind of pairing, you'd be hard pressed to get it wrong.  A tasty event and I like to thank Deborah Cameron for organizing it through Barley's Angels Colorado. Thank you Jon Howland and Robin Autorino for providing the tasty morsels and beer.

Patrick Rue of The Bruery.

Sunday was a really cool day starting with the Barley's Angels event at Hops & Pie then ending up at Backcountry Pizza and Tap House in Boulder where we met Patrick Rue of The Bruery

Patrick Rue was at Backcountry Pizza for The Bruery tap takeover. I have to admit I didn't recognize him until later when we talked to him in the parking lot. I wrote an article three years ago about The Bruery dinner at a small pizza restaurant, Basta in Boulder. He was with his wife and baby daughter. We were lucky to be seated at the next table to them and we chatted during the course of the evening.

On Sunday after leaving Backcountry Pizza we stopped at Avery Brewing where we met up with Patrick Rue again in the parking lot. We were able to chat with him in the barrel-aging room at Avery. I asked Patrick what brought him to Colorado besides the tap takeover at Backcountry Pizza, apparently he was here to collaborate with Epic Brewing on a 7.518% ABV stout with cinnamon, ginger, lactose, and peaches. Both breweries were ask to collaborate by their distributing company. The distributing company is having an annual party.
My husband informed the Avery tap room staff of who was in the barrel-aging room and they cordially invited Patrick on a tour of the brewery. I would like to thank Patrick again for chatting with us and for our beers, that was so nice of him.

Larry Smith with Patrick Rue at Avery Brewing's
barrel-aging room.