In two weeks there’s several beer pairing dinners happening in Las Vegas featuring local breweries Tenaya Creek and CraftHaus!
First up, CraftHaus is partnering up with Crossroads at House of Blues for a 3-course dinner featuring 5 beers on the Tuesday the 23rd. Tickets are $65 and can be found here.
Then on Thursday the 25th, Tenaya Creek is hosting a 5-course dinner at Tapas by Stratta in Tivoli Village. Cost is $45 and reservations can be made by contacting Tapas by Stratta beverage manager Peter Vitolo at (702) 494-7202 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally on Friday the 26th, CraftHaus is once again returning to Mandalay Bay, this time at Rx Boiler Room, for a 4-course dinner, featuring the restaurant and CraftHaus’ collaboration beer, Gone With the Wit, featuring a blend of locally sourced flowers, herbs and botanicals from Desert Bloom Eco Farm infused into the beer. Tickets are $60 and can be made by emailing email@example.com or calling 702-632-9900.
“Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.”
—Ishmael; Moby Dick
Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione, being the literary nerd that he is, worked with a Delaware clam harvester to recreate the clam chowder found in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Calagione took some liberties with the recipe, and assumed that Melville left out IPA when writing up the recipe. Thus, Dogfish Head’s Hard Tack Chowder was born; made with 60 Minute IPA! I procured a can of said chowder (“chowdah” for those of you in the northeast) and went to work following the simple directions on label.
I must confess, that as many times as I have frequented Aces and Ales, I have yet to attend either a dinner event, or Tuesday Night Tastings. This is not due to a lack of faith, as I have yet to enjoy a less than stellar dish during any eating experience at this establishment. Mainly, it’s simply due to life obligations sadly getting in the way of my palate’s enjoyment. Thankfully, both Luis and I were able to attend the recent Coronado Beer Dinner, and I must say, I can’t wait to attend the next!
COCHON 555 was founded as a means to help raise the awareness of heritage breed pigs. These are pigs that are raised and grown naturally, providing a richer, more robust flavor when compared to their blue collar counterparts: factory raised industrial pigs. Naturally, the only way to preserve these upper class heritage pigs is to eat as many of them as possible!
COCHON events feature several whole heritage pigs, along with several chefs to prepare various dishes using every piece of the pig. Jokes aside, the idea is that through these nationwide events, consumer awareness will be raised, not just of heritage pigs, but also of sustainable food systems.
One of the event’s sponsors, Crispin Cider, was generous enough to provide us access to the Las Vegas COCHON event, located at Commonwealth downtown. To ensure that these pigs are getting the awareness that they deserve, Danny and I made sure to overindulge, and binge eat as many pork products as possible. That was the point of all this, right? (more…)
For the unaware, fellow Hooked on Hops contributor, Grant Heuer, recently got a job at Big Dogs Brewery. This past weekend, if you attended Big Dog’s Winter Beer Fest, you have Grant to thank for all the awesome beer choices. Most recently however, Grant was given the opportunity to brew his first professional beer on Big Dog’s 20 barrel brewhouse. And now this Wednesday, Dog Gone Saison will see the light of day!
If any of you have taken an opportunity to read BJCP Hero, then you know that Grant knows his way around a Belgian beer. He’s won several BJCP awards, and I can only assume that Dog Gone Saison will be equally award winning.
This Wednesday, February 6th, get to Big Dog’s at 6pm. Your first pint of Dog Gone Saison is free. Not only that, the first 50 people get a free appetizer paired to go with the beer. Meet us, meet Grant, and meet everyone else in the Las Vegas craft beer community.
See you there!
I’m typically not a fan of red ales. I find them filled with too much caramel and far too sweet. If it isn’t obvious yet, I prefer my beers to be either on the bitter or sour side of the taste spectrum. But something about this beer stood out to me. I think it was the big red crab. It reminded me of the fish market back home in Seattle.
In deciding what to make for dinner to pair with this beer, I was suddenly in the mood for fish. Anticipating the sweetness of the beer, I opted for an intensely salty fish, anchovies. Pizza is, of course, the best delivery method for anchovies, and I decided to add some mushrooms to try to tone down the saltiness a bit, and add some earthiness to the pizza. If you’ve never had anchovies before, it basically just tastes like concentrated ocean water. (more…)
One week into 2013 and I finally took the time to look back at 2012. I thought I’d reshare several of the most read posts over the past year. I hope you all enjoy this look back!
An ode to supporting all the businesses here in Las Vegas that promote craft beer across the valley!
The Great Las Vegas Festival of Beer
A recap of the 2nd annual Vegas Festival of Beer. Worth reading up considering the 3rd Festival of Beer is coming up soon!
Hooked on Hops at Tenaya Creek
Last year we held a special food pairing at Tenaya Creek with their Imperial Stout and Goran’s gingerbread stout cake!
An Updated Guide to Aging Beers
Worth reading through a few times if you have any interesting in understanding how to age beers.
Worth reading through a few times to understand the importance of drinking beer as fresh as possible.
Kind of contradicts the aging article huh? Nope. Read both and learn why!
Bacon and IPA Spaghetti
Another one of Goran’s food recipes featuring beer!
The Las Vegas Downtown Brew Festival
After the success of the Great Las Vegas Festival of Beer, 2012 saw the premiere of the Downtown Brew Festival!
What The Craft Beer Scene Can Learn From The Metal Scene
Last year saw craft beer fans searching for the most obscure breweries possible, while calling out the pioneers as overrated. Armando shared his thoughts here.
Danny is a Ninja
Right at the tail end of the year, we launched a video mini-series reviewing some beers. The first iteration is New Belgium’s La Folie. We have since added Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, and Stone Vertical Epic 12.12.12
You may remember my post about a month ago when I attended Big Dog’s Brew School. This past Thursday was the tapping of our batch of War Dog Imperial IPA. As part of our graduation party, we were given diplomas, a class photo, and our own growler of War Dog. On top of that, Big Dog’s executive chef, Sergio Meza, prepared a three course meal meant to pair with War Dog IPA.
Mango-ginger stilton cheese and walnut quesadilla served with a jalapeño-onion-agave nectar and apple-fig salsa
This was the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. The stilton was unlike any I’ve had before. I’m typically not a fan of figs, but these were prepared very well. The jalapeño and onion added a great compliment to the rich sweetness.
Baked ham with War Dog Imperial IPA glaze served with Delmonico potatoes and grilled marinated asparagus
The ham was very sweet and juicy, and had the perfect texture. The potatoes were both crispy, and very cheesy. I’ve yet to have any asparagus that I didn’t enjoy, and these were no exception, they were very well seasoned.
Salted caramel cheesecake
Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts. Surprisingly, I’ve never had a caramel cheesecake. This was incredible. All of the above dishes were meant to pair specifically with the War Dog IPA. And I can attest that the dry, crisp, body of the beer made for a refreshing palate cleanser in between bites of the spicy quesadilla. It also complemented the sweet ham. However by the time dessert came, I opted to try a new beer. Chef Meza strongly urged me to eat the cheesecake with the IPA, which would have definitely been an excellent choice. The caramel on top would match the hint of caramel malts in the beer. The powerful, bitter bite from the hops would stand up to the rich, decadent cheesecake. However, I opted to try out the Black Lab Stout instead. This ended up also being a good pairing. This stout has some very strong coffee-like flavors present that contrasted well with the sweetness from the dessert. The beer was poured on nitro, giving it a creamy texture that matched the creamy cheesecake.
All in all, Brew School was an awesome experience. As previously mentioned, head brewer Dave Otto is extremely courteous and informative. Both our lunch on the first day, and today’s meal, were extremely delicious. And, of course, the beer was amazing. I highly recommend that any of you that love great beer and awesome food sign up for the next Brew School!
*Special thanks to Chef Sergio Meza and the kitchen staff for letting me take the above photos in the kitchen
The phonetic similarities between the two should be enough of a clue that these are meant to be together. Like some sort of alluring alliteration, I decided to pair a saison with my grilled salmon.
First, it should be noted, all saisons are incredibly different, and there is more than one way to grill a salmon. As such, the following lead to a perfect pair:
The Salmon: I marinated the salmon in olive oil and lemon juice (from actual lemons, not a bottle). After it was grilled, I seasoned it with a little salt, and some fresh ground pepper. The result was a deliciously lemony fish with a spicy, peppery edge.
The Saison: The only saison in the house was Saison du BUFF, a collaboration beer between Stone, Dogfish Head, and Victory Brewing Company. This is no ordinary saison. It is brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, fresh from Stone’s garden. These herbs give the beer a peppery taste with a very refreshing, herbal finish. The amarillo hops give this beer a citrusy zest like aroma and taste. A very floral and herbal take on the saison style.
The Pairing: This pairing was all about complimentary flavors. The citrus zest in the beer matched the lemony tartness in the salmon. The fresh black pepper matched the peppery saison yeast and the herbal finish in the beer was like an added seasoning to the fish. The naturally lighter flavors of the fish was a perfect pair to the light, bready malts in the saison.
A fantastic pairing, if I do say so myself!