Before I begin this post I just want to send out prayers and well wishes to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy. We in South Florida know what you are going through and feel your pain, aggravation and need for electricity. For anyone who reads the Gulp posts who wishes to help out our Northern neighbors visit www.redcross.org or donate blood at your local blood bank. That’s what neighbors do, we help each other out when the times get tough!
Onto the pairings!
This was a unique pairing event. Not because it was beer. We’ve done that. Not because it was Oktoberfest, done that too. We have never done, however costumes. Yep, that’s right people came in costume to celebrate Halloween! I give big props to everyone who dressed up but my personal favorite was the ooompa looompa! Yes, I have pictures…hehehehhee. It was also unique because this pairing featured not only Coreen’s skills in the kitchen but also her brewing chops as well. Two of the courses were paired with a homebrew created by Coreen and I can tell you right now that I liked both. Great job young lady! This was also the largest gathering to date with 35 Gulpers joining in on the fun and learning about beer pairing.
1st Course: This was a course as far away from Germany as one could get. Coreen and LeBeau went deep into the heart of Dixie and made chicken and waffles. Can Y’all say finger lickin’ good? The waffle was freshly made with a pat of butter and maple syrup and it was topped with a crispy fried chicken tender. It was paired with Coreen’s first brew of the day. The Vanilla, oatmeal and maple syrup stout was like breakfast in a glass all on its own! Paired with the crispy chicken and sweet, toasty waffle I was visioning big verandas, roman columns, and oak trees dripping with spanish moss. (I refuse to see myself in hoop skirt or crinoline.) Seriously, the aroma of the stout was all maple syrup and then when I took my first drink I got the maple but right behind it the vanilla coffee. The oatmeal gave the brew body and weight making it definitely a meal. It paired wonderfully with the waffle. The maple in the stout said hi to the maple on the waffle and chicken and they all became very good friends in my mouth. Michelle said she was going to have this for breakfast everyday!
2nd Course: This course put us smack dab into the middle of Fall. The beer was Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Stout and it tasted the way its name sounds. It was big, and bold with aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and pumpkin. Its flavor was caramel-y and pumpkin-y with a faint note of citrus on the back end. It was paired with more pumpkin in a lasagna that everyone wanted seconds of. The pumpkin lasagna was lovely thin layers of tender noodles filled with ricotta, pumpkin and acorn squash puree. It was topped with mozzarella and parmesan. The parmesan was a smart ingredient that gave the lasagna a nutty, salty component that kept the rest from being really sweet. The match between the brew and the food was phenomenal! Almost every Italian will tell you cream sauces are enhanced with a touch of nutmeg and the stout provided that touch. This was savory, warm and creamy meets cool, spicy and satisfying. In short, yummy!
Dessert in the middle: Before we moved to the third course we were served dessert. This lovely little bite was created by our own Deb Knepp. It was a pumpkin pound cake w/ amaretto cream cheese frosting. It was moist rich and dense cake topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting that just melted in my mouth. I have to say I am a sucker for cream cheese frosting and this one reminded me why. I love the sweet, tangy creamy flavor and then mix in a cake that was full of pumpkin goodness I could have eaten a lot more, as it was a had two pieces! I paired it with the pumpkin stout and wow was that delicious!
3rd Course: With this course we came fully into Oktoberfest. Coreen braised brawursts in stout and caramelized onions in the same stout and put the two together in a soft bun. My mouth is watering at the memory. The aroma of the meat and onions tickled my nose as Lebeau presented it to our table and I knew then and there I was in brat love. They paired them with a Lefthand Oktoberfest Marzen. This pretty amber colored brew smelled sweet and a little yeasty. The flavor followed suit. After two fairly big flavor beers this one was lighter and if I may say refreshing especially against the sandwich with it’s porky, fatty goodness. There was a caramel note to the beer as well which matched the sweetness of the onions. It was a really a perfect pairing.
4th Course: Coreen excels at sweets! This is a bit funny because she isn’t much for eating them. Personally, I don’t care about that, just that she keeps coming up with these tasty closings to every Gulp meal. This one was a banana fosters cup with banana mousse, chopped nuts, caramel sauce and ginger cookie crumbles. REALLY? Oh yeah, really and it tasted better than its description. Creamy, cool mousse meets banana and then crunch, crunch, crunch go the nuts and cookies. Crap! It was good. Coreen’s homebrew heffeweisen was the perfect match with all that banana flavor. It was slightly cloudy and a smelled a little yeasty. It was mild in flavor and I thought a perfect foil for the richness of the dessert. All I wrote at the time was YUMMO!
Well my friends that is it for this edition of the Gulp Recap! Have a great November and if I don’t see you have a Happy, Safe and Grateful Thanksgiving!
Enjoy the Halloween costume pictures:
Keep Your Eyes open for these upcoming Events
Check out what is happening October 27th! It's a field trip!
More Info to Come, just starting to gather info now. Plan is to rent a van and have it tote us around, stopping at Tequesta Brewing Company, Bx Beer Depot, World of Beers, Due South and do tastings at each location. Like I say, I am just starting to do the legwork now, so just save the date now.wine-making state.
Let me know as soon as you know you are interested so I can plan accordingly
PAYPAL AT GOTTSCHALK.COREEN@GMAIL.COM.
the cost of this event will be in the range of $30-$35. Purchasing beer at the stops will not be included so that you can budget your flights or single pints for yourself. Your price will include a delicious "lining your bellies" lunch at the Serenity Garden Tea House and your transportation for the day. Timeline and More to come