Brewer's Bash at Eleven Madison Park.
(I forgot my real camera, so you'll have to make do with my iPhone shots, and it was pretty dark in C&S's private dining room. Here are someone else's much nicer pics, including some of the beers which I didn't shoot.)
Not only was the food and beer excellent, but Oliver bestowed upon us copious knowledge both about brewing beer in general and concerning the particulars of each paired beer, eg did you know that Champagne bottles were actually originally used for beer and then the Champagne producer borrowed the form? We were having too good a time for me to take proper notes, but I'll leave you with a tidbit here and there. You can click on the top image for the menu, or here is one already parsed into text:
Our first course was the Nantucket Bay Scallop paired with Sorachi Ace, a lemony saison, or farmhouse ale. The beer is named after the singular variety of hops used in its production, a strain invented in Japan by Sapporo I believe, although they never found use for it. The rare hops used by Brooklyn Brewery are sourced from a single farm in Oregon, and the beer is fermented with a Belgian yeast. It went quite nicely with the lovely scallop. (This pic is kinda a mess, but you can make out the scallop and the truffle if you look hard enough; the others turned out better.)
Nantucket Bay Scallop, Asian Pear, Black Truffle, Pumpkin Broth
Butter Poached Lobster,Grapefruit, Cardoons, Long Pepper
Roasted Turbot, Seabeans, Coquillage, Vin Juane Sauce
Scottish Partridge, Turnip Sauerkraut, Caramelized Chestnuts, Smoked Bacon
Cervena Venison, Black Trompettes, Brussels Sprouts, Black Grapes
Forsterkase, Roasted Dates, Pine Nuts
Passion Fruit Tart, Hibiscus & Coconut Sorbet
Cuvee de la Crochet Rouge
Next up was the lobster paired with Brooklyn's Blast! IPA. They don't make much Blast!, but unlike most of the upcoming beers, you can actually find it in a few places. The close to the brewery Brooklyn Bowl gets about half of it, check Beermenus for others. I often find lobster a bit boring, but this was among the better preparations I've had in a while. Its sweet meat was meltingly tender and the rich butter sauce played off the hoppy bitterness of the beer very well.
rave review), which starts out life like the Belgian strong golden ale Brooklyn Local 1, but then is aged 9 months in Woodford Reserve barrels, and then undergoes bottle refermentation with Brettanomyces, aka Brett. This imparts a complexity and mellow tang to the beer and adornes it with layers of flavor. This is a special beer that you can not generally get except at special events; they just can't make enough of it. As Garrett Oliver told us, if you release such small production beers commercially, you make a lucky few people really happy, and a whole lot of people really mad.
Man, this is going to be a long post, I'm only on course 4 of 7. Next was the partridge, paired with Brooklyn Local 2, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale made with local honey. It clocks in at 9% alcohol (most of the beers tonight were quite strong) and if I'm not mixing up my sparse notes with another course the beer we were served was aged for 2 years, which causes the bitter components to fade somewhat. The esters and high alcohol content also makes this beer taste sweet, even though the sugar content is very low. The alcohol also helped cut through some of the rich and gamey flavor in the components of this dish. The partridge was fork tender, and the bacon an explosion of smoke.
Detonation Ale is the Blast! IPA's big brother. Not only is it brewed using seven varieties of hops, a nearly all American line up with the exception of the lone East Kent Golding from UK, which they refer to in this beer as ‘The English Aristocrat’, but it also is a hefty 10.2 % abv. Boom!
consult their events page for details. Here is another review of our dinner, from a blogger who didn't pocrastinate quite as long as I did on the post.