Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Beer Event Wrapup, Lefthand Beer Dinner

Last night was the Left Hand Brewing beer dinner at Crane Alley.

Each beer was presented by Mike Walters, the Midwest sales manager for the brewery.

The first course was the panko crusted salmon cake, stuffed with spiced cream cheese. This was paired with Ju Ju Ginger.

The salmon cake was awesome. It looked, and tasted kind of like a crab-cake, but it was better. The spiced cream cheese in the middle was outstanding. It went pretty good with the beer. The salmon cake might have been my favorite dish of the night.

The second course was served with Sawtooth Amber, and was a salad, served with jumbo lump crab. The salad wasn't really anything that looked like "salad". It looked more like a plate of clover, but it was really tasty. It was served with a remoulade and smoked sea salt. The smoked salt was great, I need to find some, or figure out how they made it.

The third course was a duck breast with wild rice, grilled zucchini and squash. It was served with the Snowbound Winter Ale. The duck was outstanding. I didn't think it went very well with the Snowbound. The beer was a little bit spiced, and reminded me of a darker version of the Ju Ju. When the beer was drank with the food, it completely changed the flavor of the beer, and cut the spices right out, making the beer go better with it. Looking through the Left Hand beer lineup, I thought the Deep Cover Brown or the Black Jack Porter, might have been a better choice to go with the darker duck, and the rice.

The fourth course was the Alligator on creole cous-cous, with a spicy trinity broth. It seemed that the alligator was what everyone was most interested in trying. I was a little disappointed in it. It was a little tough and stringy, but then what do you expect from a creature that is pure muscle. When it came out, it almost looked like boneless buffalo wings. The smaller pieces were ok, but the larger ones seemed to have a flavor and sort of wet/squishy texture that reminded me of deep fried catfish. The cous cous was good, and the trinity sauce was great. This was presented with Warrior IPA. The warrior did a good job of cutting the spice of the sauce.

The final presentation was a pistachio infused Tres Leches cake with a Milk Stout Reduction, served with Milk Stout. The cake itself was outstanding, the milk stout reduction worked like a chocolate syrup. It also came with some edible flower petals, that were pretty good in the sweet (i think it was cream) sauce that was also drizzled on the plate. The beer was a good compliment to the cake, washed it down nicely without upsetting the sweetness that was already quite present in the sauces.

Overall it was a good menu, with a good beer selection, there was only one of the beers that I would have tried to change, but it still worked well with the food. The food was all good, with the two cakes (first and last) being great. I asked Aaron if they would be putting the salmon cakes on the menu, and he said they probably wouldn't. If they put the Tres Leches cake on the menu, I wouldn't complain about that, and it might even turn me into a desert person.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Warrior IPA is one of my favorites. A couple of homebrewing friends of mine always make a sweet stout that reminds me a lot of the milk stout as well. I would love to visit the brewery some time.