Monday, February 8, 2010

Stone Brewing beer dinner at Uptown Grille

(Or, "Goodbye to Aaron"- see next post.)

Last Wednesday.....

Stone IPA
Flash Fried Thai curry shrimp.
Easy pairing that usually works. Citrusy hops work well with spicy curry. The shrimp were cooked to perfection- moist, plump & tasty, and the curry was not overdone.

Juxtaposition Black Pilsner (Collaboration b/n Stone, Cambridge & Brewdog)
Grilled salmon with ancho chile glaze, on a bed of fire-roasted jalapeno polenta, topped with sweet potato shoestrings.
This beer is malty sweet at the beginning (almost like unfermented wort), light to medium bodied, and ends with a lot of citrusy hops. The dish was really spicy (it was the polenta), and the beer didn't stand up to the heat,nor meld with the pepper flavour particularly well, although with the salmon alone it was a decent match. The salmon was also cooked to moist perfection, and was a big piece.

Oaked Arrogant Bastard
Pepper-encrusted beef medallion with garlic-sauteed spinach, brandy caramelized shallots & cherry demiglace.
This beer is a natural for many different foods, and did go well with this dish.

Kona Coffee Macadamia Nut Coconut Porter (Collaboration b/n Stone, Maui Brewing & Ken Schmidt)
Pulled Wild Boar with fried plantains & char-grilled pineapple.
THE WINNER! Both the food, and the pairing. The pulled boar had been done properly- Joe said it had been slooooow cooking for 11 hours that day. It was great, and just how it should be- moist, smoky & meaty. And, the plantains & pineapple were lovely, and a great accompaniment.
The beer is a rich coffee porter, with a hint of coconut in the finish. They did use a gargantuan amount of dried coconut in the brewing process. The rich flavours melded nicely with the smoky meat, and the plantains and pineapple did seem to pick up a little of the coconut in the beer.

Special Holiday Ale (2008, brewed at Stone)
Turtle Cheesecake with homemade caramel & chocolate sauce, served with vanilla bean ice cream.
Wow, this beer just keeps on giving, specifically the sage. It still hasn't faded, and while it might sound like a strange flavour to find in your beer, or pair with a dessert, it has not disappointed us yet. The rich malt character of the beer, and the sage and juniper spicing were a natural for the unadorned cheesey portion of the cheesecake, but the sweet caramel topping worked a surprise magic with the sage in the beer. You just don't know until you try.

A fantastic meal, for a remarkably inexpensive price. I hear that there's going to be a Bell's beer dinner at Uptown in March. We won't be missing it!

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