The Brew n’ Chew at The Diamond was a success. At least 100 people showed up. Six contestants competed for best home brew and food pairing. Proceeds from the event go to The Mark Project, to support hurricane relief in the Catskills.
Since it was a tasting, I wondered whether I should eat first but was glad I didn’t. The portions were generous and everything was delicious and difficult to judge!
I started with 49th Parallel’s, Unparalleled Ale with Vegetarian Curried Scotch Egg with Green Tomato Chutney. This team wins for food presentation, display & professional signage. The beer was tasty and the Scotch egg dish was a sight to behold, with great texture, color, and crunchy garnish, but it needed a little more salt for my taste. That being said I could have eaten 12 more.
I moved next to one of my favorites, The Moxie Brothers’ Birthday Suit Session Ale paired with Hampshire Pork Al Pastor.
These “real” brothers were adorable. When one began describing the pork as “marinated,” the other corrected, “It’s braised!” Get it right! I really enjoyed the beer. The pork, while not a new take on “braised” pork as one guest noted, was succulent and delicious with a perfect creamy herby sauce. Don’t mess with pork success. I loved it!
At the same table, Electric Sheep Brewery served a Spiced Belgian Tripel paired with Polenta Squares topped with Chicken Sausage, Belgian Ale Reduction, Fig Jam, White Cheddar & Sage. The beer was stellar. The polenta square had a lot of great flavors mingling, but again, the sausage needed more salt. (I think this is just my problem.) It was very tasty.
Then I moved outside to my favorite team, by virtue of being my Kingsland Ave. neighbors and friends, HMJ Industries, LLC. Or Hanna, Mark & Jon. And not just saying this because I love them but their Bluebird Style Bitter ESP was awesome, nice and mild paired with their perfectly seasoned Chicken Curry Shepherd’s Pie. “Is that carrots I’m getting?” The flavor of a pungent fall root vegetable was happening in my mouth and I liked it. “Turnip!” Why don’t people do more with turnips? That was a nice surprise. I needed a fork for this dish, but was fine with licking it out of the cupcake tin.
Last, and totally stuffed (and tipsy), I approached the major waffle making production. Best named Team: Have Alcohol Needs Friends presented Smoked American Rye with Sweet Potato Waffles, and a side of kale. I was completely distracted by the buttery sour creamy topping, the girl next to me who had a smashed iphone, plus all the beer I had consumed. I call this beer blending. I liked the beer a lot and I wanted to steal the bucket of creamy goodness, which definitely left me saying, what waffle?
Voting time! I know: you’re going to say that I only voted for HMJ Industries because I was hoping to cash in on some leftovers, but really, the pairing (which is what we voted on) for me was perfect. A home run balance between savory and spice in the dish and the beer brought it all together while not taking over everything.Plus, I LOVE TURNIPS! Okay and they are my friends!
And the winners…
1st Place: Electric Sheep Brewery
2nd Place: The Brothers Moxie
3rd Place: 49th Parallel
Thanks Dave for hosting such an awesome event!
For more photos see click here.