DC Beer Week for the Beer Amateur

I’m about to offend beer lovers everywhere with this one … While I certainly enjoy beer, I’m just not an afficianado. My idea of good beer has to do more with the context:

  • icy cold Peroni at Nats Stadium on a sweltering summer evening
  • several cold bottles of Heineken Light or Michelob Ultra at Redskins game tailgate
  • the Miller Lite I’m hoping lasts through OT at the Caps nailbiter

Lest you think all my beer experiences have to do with sports, there’s always this:

  • Corona with lime at summer cookout while tending the grill

or this

  • beer (Berliner Kindl) and bratwurst at the Berlin Zoo on a sunny day

Seriously though, I enjoy beer. I just don’t know that much about it. So when Mel invited me to a special beer dinner at Granville Moore’s as part of DC Beer Week, how could I refuse? I may be a beer Neanderthal, but I’m willing to evolve – just give me a chance!

First off, I had no idea the event name was a play on the names of the two breweries supplying the tasting samples for the dinner. With each course, we tasted beers from Brewery Ommegang from Cooperstown, NY and Allagash from Portland, Maine. Hence the name of the event was “Ommegash It’s Allegang.” And yes, I was likely the only person there who didn’t get that joke.

Our menu was a fun mix of small plates with beer pairings from the two breweries.

Fritto Misto – Fried Pickles, Potatoes, Onions, Lemons, Cuttlefish – Otherwise known as baskets of fried tastiness. Wonderful with the beers. The thinly fried lemon slices were a delicious surprise.
Paired with White & Witte

Frittata – English Peas, Potatoes, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Goat Cheese – Probably my favorite course, not eggy at all, the potatoes and peas were delicate and tender, the egg was fluffy and light, barely holding the ingredients together.
Paired with Confluence & Duvel

Swordfish Club – Fried Prosciutto, Roasted Tomatoes, Olive Mayonnaise, Toasted Sourdough – A fun way to prepare swordfish. Here the fried prosciutto really stood out – it looked like a sun-dried tomato sitting on top of the sandwich, but tasted like a super crispy, super flavored slice of bacon.
Paired with Interlude & Hougoumont

Fried Chicken – Pecan Smoked Chicken, BPA Battered, Curieux Chipotle BBQ Sauce, Blue Cheese Mashed – Amazing, light fried chicken paired with a saucy, tangy barbequed wing. Alas, I was starting to hit the wall on this one …
Paired with Curieux & BPA

Chicken – friend and barbequed

Beeramisu – Cocoa Ale Powder – Shortbread fingers soaked in dark, chocolatey beer. Creative, but heavy. So one taste was enough for me.
Paired with 3 year Black and 2 year Adoration

All told, a fun evening at Granville Moore’s. We got to hang out with Teddy, the chef and owner – he reminded me of a Jon Favreau character as he was running the tasting, chatting with guests and discussing the beers …..

Did I learn more about beers? No doubt. Did I retain any of it? Not so much. I would have had to take notes on the various beers during the tasting, ruining the evening for my companions. However, I’m sure that becoming more knowledgeable about beer – as with wine and so many other things – comes with practice. And I certainly gained an appreciation for matching beer with food, even if I have no idea how to pair the two myself. I look forward to continuing my education …!

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