This past Sunday I had the opportunity to attend Beerunch: a 6 course beer and food pairing event for SF Beer Week that my friend Jim has worked on for the last few years featuring his beer, MateVeza. Even though I was a little under the weather, I was really looking forward to trying out some new beers and tasting some yummy Brunch food. After all, Brunch is my favorite meal of the day.
The event took place at the Public House in AT&T Park where the Giants play. To that end, and because Jim is such a huge Giants fan, the series clinching game 5 of the 2010 World Series was replayed on Public House’s TVs during the Beerunch – a fun addition to the afternoon!
Public House is a really cool, huge space that nicely accommodated the 300 people who attended. Everyone received a plate and glass of “Beermosa” – Dogfish Head’s peach beer, Festina Peche - when they entered the venue. Six stations were set up throughout the restaurant where volunteers served small bites and poured the selected beers. Jim and his team spent a lot of time on the food pairing and I think they did a fantastic job! Here’s what we had:
1. Organic Yerba Mate IPA with Carnitas Taco and Tomatillo Salsa
Jim came into my life a few years ago with this tasty brew and he had me at “naturally caffeinated.” You all know I’m a sucker for hoppy IPAs and the fact that this earthy, citrusy version also gives me a little extra pep in my step (from the Yerba Mate tea leaf) is an awesome bonus. The carnitas tacos were a huge hit and probably my favorite food item that was served. It was definitely The Hub’s favorite…I saw him sneak back for seconds…and thirds.
2. Toast (Slightly Burnt) with Savory Mushroom and Gruyere Cheese Strata
I will definitely have to try a few more beers from Moonlight Brewing Company because Toast was my favorite beer of the whole event. It sort of looks like a nut ale (not my fave) so I was a little wary, but this strong lager is extra malty in a delicious, toasty way. I reveled in the Strata because these days it’s very rare that I get to eat mushrooms – they are a favorite of mine, but a nemesis of The Hub’s. It was rich, creamy and paired very nicely with powerful Toast.
3. Saison de Lily with Goat Cheese and Scallion Breakfast Biscuit with Niman Ranch Jambon Dry-cured Ham
Saison and goat cheese is a natural pairing that was well executed in this dish. I didn’t get to snap a picture of this beer from Magnolia Pub and couldn’t find one online, so you’ll have to take my word that the Saison had a beautiful light golden color and tasted just as nice. The malty flavor of the beer complemented the buttery biscuit.
4. Consecration with Fennel-cured Smoked Salmon and Whipped Chive Cream Cheese on Mini Bagels
Although there is a lot of hype around “sour beers” these days, Consecration was a huge miss for me. For those of you who do like sour beers, you might want to try this one since a lot of the beer connoisseurs seemed to love it. I understood how the pairing was designed to work, with the acidity and sourness of the beer cutting through the oils of the salmon and cream cheese, but I just couldn’t unpucker my face long enough to enjoy it.
5. Racer X with Endive and Poached Pear Salad with Blue Cheese and Walnut Shortbread
The salad was a little wilty and wet by the time I tasted this pairing, but the Racer X was fantastic! I’ve long been a fan of Bear Republic’s Racer 5, and Racer X takes it to the next level. Why did I like it so much? Because it’s a Double IPA of course! I love the bitter, hoppy flavor that meets the citrus aroma. The blue cheese and walnut shortbread stood up well to this robust beer.
6. The Abyss with Croissant and Bourbon Bread Pudding
We had a blast at this event and hope to be able to attend again next year. In the meantime, I’ll be drinking MateVeza, Toast, Racer X and The Abyss while supplies last! If you want to see all the beautiful professional photos from the event, check them out by clicking here!