October 23, 2012

4 Hands, Strong Ale Festival, and beer dinners!

Very cool events coming from Beer KC in the near future. Most immediate will be coming tomorrow (Wednesday, October 24th), when we welcome 4 Hands Brewing Co. to Kansas City. The Foundry will have a couple beers on tap from our St. Louis friends - Divided Sky Rye IPA and Cuvee Ange. They are two excellent beers; Cuvee Ange is a complex, funky, woody beer. Don't miss it!

Another event not to miss - the Strong Ale Fest from 1-5 on November 3! The above-mentioned 4 Hands will be, uhh, on hand... as will about 36 other breweries, and nearly 80 beers, all around or over 8% ABV. Advanced tickets are available for $30 online at http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/performanceSearch.jsp?performance_id=1663931, or you can avoid any service fees by buying them directly from McCoy's. If there are any spots open on the day of the event, the price will go up to $35, so get 'em now and save yourself a few bucks (that you can put towards a hand cranked sausage, conveniently $5). Designated drivers will have free entry, so get a ride, carpool, whatever you need to do. We want everyone to enjoy themselves, and to be safe. 

Then the next beer dinner comes to Beer Kitchen on November 19th. This month it'll be the Wild Game Dinner, with wild boar, rabbit, pheasant, and elk. Yum.

$55 includes your dinner, tax, and gratuity, with a good chance for some great company. Who knows, maybe one course will make you rethink your Thanksgiving plans. Like maybe you'll want to add Brussels sprouts to your meal. Because they are delicious. 

Speaking of delicious beer dinners, last night was October's delicious beer dinner. Or should I say Oktober, for the German-inspired meal? Sure, the real Oktoberfest was a month ago, but that doesn't mean we can't celebrate the culture, beer, and food now. There was even some surprise entertainment for people before the meal started...

Now, to get in the spirit, how about some music

There we go. 

The first course of the night paired Innstadt Pilsener with a crispy potato pancake, woodland 'shrooms, shaved Emmentaler, and cremig. A clean and crisp beer to go with a crisp meal. Now I hope this doesn't come out the wrong way, but the crisp potato pancake was almost like one of those ruffled potato chips. Like the biggest, best potato chip I've ever had, and I've had a lot of potato chips in my day. So while that may not sound like much, it was skillfully crafted. Kind of like a great pilsner - on the surface they may seem like simple, straightforward beers, but they're one of the most difficult styles to make. They have to be fermented at cooler temperatures, there's not a lot to cover up any flaws in flavor, and they take time. So don't take them lightly, and don't take my description of this dish lightly. It was great. Great great great.

I was looking forward to the second course of the night, as odd as it may sound for a chicken liver dish. I like liver, especially pate. This was a rich, spreadable chicken liver, with truffled butter bread and a pickled pear sauce. The beer was Stiegl Weisse Naturtrub. It was was fantastic. Again, sticking with a dumbed-
down comparison, the liver was similar to Braunschweiger. I loved Braunschweiger as a kid, so it was nice to have sort of a grown-up (read: better) version of it. A tablemate said that he hated liver, but loved this. And the richness of the liver was nicely balanced by the touch of sweetness in the beer. I like Stiegl beers. 

The beer for the third pairing brought us close to home with Bob's 47 from Boulevard. Along side it, a dry hopped sharp cheddar soup with a pretzel loffel. I didn't pick up much of the dry hopped flavor in the soup, but it was still deliciously cheesy. This was another instance of a rich food dish paired with a slightly sweet beer. The soup SO GOOD. I'm a sucker for beer and cheese. I wanted to lick the bowl. But since I was in the process of making new friends, I thought I'd save that for sometime down the line. Maybe the next beer dinner. 

I hadn't had the Weltenburger Kloster Asam Bock, but it's one of the highest rated doppelbocks on RateBeer, so I was excited to try it. Especially with the caramel braised pork and salted spätzle. It may not show up in the picture, but there was a little bonus of some bacon. Mmm. The beer and food didn't disappoint. Sweet (beer) and salty (the food). Winning combination. Winning course. The spätzle was great, and the pork was pork. Delicious. 

Dessert. Ah dessert. I like dessert. I like donuts for dessert. Donuts with vanilla sauce and blueberries are even better. While the "berliner" probably could have benefited from being served warmer, it was still tasty. And paired with a tasty beer from McCoy's, their Oktoberfest. A great end to the meal! The donut wasn't too sweet, the blueberries were tart, and the beer kept with the understated sweet tone of the course. 

Once again, a wonderful beer dinner! This one was solid. None of the dishes slacked. Now we're looking forward to the events over the next month, and hope to see everyone soon!!

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