Apr 082010

Dogfish Head

I occasionally get these beer-related press releases, and haven’t posted any because I didn’t feel they were relevant to my audience. However, I recently received one about a Dogfish Head dinner at a restaurant called Chifa in Philly. I am a huge Dogfish Head fan, so I will happily pass the details on to the masses, even though I know nothing of the restaurant and cannot vouch for the glowing reviews. Below is the text, verbatim, from the release (emphasis on beer names added):


PHILADELPHIA, PA – On Thursday, April 15 at 7 p.m., superstar Chef Jose Garces will host a special Beer Dinner at Chifa (707 Chestnut Street, 215-925-5555), his acclaimed Latin-Asian restaurant. The event will feature four courses of Chifa’s inspired cuisine paired with beers from Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewery. The cost will be $65 per person, excluding gratuity, a fun “tax free” price in celebration of National Tax Day.

Space is limited, and reservations are required.

“Our food at Chifa is particularly well-suited to pairing with full-flavored craft beers, and we’re longtime fans of Dogfish Head’s delicious brews,” says Chef Garces.

Menu items will include: Charred Tasmanian Sea Trout with crispy shiso and flying fish roe, paired with 90-Minute IPA, a big beer with great malt backbone and pungent, but not crushing, hop flavor; Hop-Smoked Poussin with Midas Touch braised daikon and candied ginger, paired with Midas Touch, a wine-mead hybrid that is smooth, sweet and dry, based on a 2,700 year old recipe found in King Midas’ tomb; Lemongrass Short Ribs with massaman curry and pickled limes, paired with Red & White, a big, Belgian-style wit brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with Pinot Noir juice, then aged in oak tanks; and Chocolate Ganache with roasted coconut custard and coffee cream, paired with Theobroma, a chocolate beer brewed with Aztec cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, honey, chiles and annatto for a light-colored, flavorful treat.

Chifa opened in early 2009 to critical acclaim; The New York Times praised the restaurant’s unusual ability to “kill two cravings [Asian and Latin] with one dish,” while Philadelphia magazine called Chef Garces’ innovative interpretations of Peruvian cuisine “a cross-cultural thrill ride…A meal at Chifa is a night out, a form of entertainment, an infusion of world culture, a culinary education, something to brag about the following day.”

Chifa is open for dinner seven days a week beginning at 5 p.m.; dinner is served until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 12 midnight on Friday and Saturday. Chifa is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information about their upcoming beer dinner, or to make a reservation, please visit www.chifarestaurant.com, or call (215) 925-5555.

May 112009

American Craft Beer Week

American Craft Beer Week 2009

Yes, beer lovers, it’s that time again – American Craft Beer Week starts today and continues through May 17th. Keep your eyes peeled for local beer events, go out and support your local craft brewers, and give thanks that we can enjoy such a huge selection of quality beers.

I will be trying to find one craft beer I’ve never tried for each day of the week, preferably from seven different breweries. I’ll let you know how I made out at the end of the week. Do you guys have any cool events near you or traditions revolving around American Craft Beer Week? Drop me an email or leave a comment and let me know!

Check out the official website and become a fan of American Craft Beer Week on Facebook to show your support!

Oct 072008

Chelsea Brewing Company

Chelsea Brewing Company

OK, so we were on a river, not a sea, and it wasn’t made of beer. But, we did spend a great night combining sailing, beer, and cheese with the Chelsea Brewing Company last week.

My girlfriend and I were guests aboard the 80-foot classic pilot schooner Adirondack for Chelsea’s Art of Beer and Cheese Pairing Event on Monday, September 29th. The event started at the brewery, located at the Chelsea Piers sports complex in NYC. We got there a bit early, and were able to enjoy a pint before the event started. I admired the pretty copper serving tanks behind the bar while drinking an Obergäriges Festbier, which was a hoppy take on an Märzen/Oktoberfest. We also had the pretzel appetizer, which was great – I love a good pretzel with my beer.

We were taken from the bar area to the brewery, where the “tour” began. This was the least impressive part of the night, consisting of gathering around the brewing vessels and listening to one of Chelsea’s brewers talk for a few minutes about the process of making beer. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed seeing the tanks and listening to the speech, but I’ve seen quite a few breweries and already know how beer is made. On the whole, the tour portion seemed unorganized and I don’t think the non-brewers there came away with a real appreciation or understanding of the process.

Luckily, the sail portion of the night more than made up for any shortcomings. We left the brewery and boarded the Adirondack for a two hour cruise around New York harbor. It was a beautiful night, warm for the end of September, with clear skies and enough wind to power the schooner without making it uncomfortable. We had the good fortune of sitting by our captain, Cat, who took the time to answer our questions about sailing and navigating the harbor.

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty

During the sail, we were treated to several beer and cheese pairings, all of which were delicious. The highlight was definitely the Catskill Hop Harvest Ale, a wet hop beer which exceeded all of my expectations. It had a huge hop nose and big hop flavor, but it was much smoother than a big-hop beer like an IPA. The hop flavor came across without being intrusive, and and the result was a symphony of citrusy and spicy hops with a strong malt backbone. A close second was Chelsea’s Black Hole XXX stout. This beer achieved all the positives of a stout’s flavor profile (chocolate, coffee, earthy, roasty) without being overly bitter or heavy. Delicious…even my girlfriend, not a huge stout drinker, loved it! Both the stout and the wet hop ale came home with us in growlers that night.

I have misplaced my list of the cheeses offered during the sail, but they were all well-paired, tasty, and served with bread. I will post the names once I find the list.

The sail would’ve been worth the money on its own – the nighttime tour of downtown Manhattan is something everyone should see once. We got some nice closeups of the Statue of Liberty, along with some non-traditional sights such as the Coast Guard cutter we had to navigate around. Captain Cat was extremely friendly and professional, even in the face of some moron who had too much to drink and was being borderline disrespectful (guess there’s one on every trip like this).

It was a sad moment when we docked back at the pier. We wandered inside to get our growlers, and talked for a few moments with Ian, Chelsea’s marketing guru. Ian showed us pictures of their recent hop harvest in upstate New York (which led to the Catskill Hop Harvest Ale), and you could tell he was genuinely excited about the brewery and their beers. That’s nice to see, and will make all the difference as Chelsea expands.

It was a very enjoyable night and a unique experience on many levels, and we plan on attending again next year (you’re out of luck for 2008, since we were on the last scheduled sail for the year). I definitely recommend trying to get your hands on some of the wet hop ale (it goes fast), but if you miss it, try some of Chelsea’s other offerings – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Tell Ian that Lootcorp sent ya.

Sailing on the Adirondack

Sailing on the Adirondack

Sep 112008

Beer and charity...perfect together!

Fellow Nutmeg State resident Bryon over at HomeBrewBeer.net brought my attention to a great beer-related charity event going on in November. The 4th Ever CT River Valley Not-So-Snooty Beer, Wine, and Cheese Tasting Adventure will take place on November 21, 2008 at The New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT. If you are local, I strongly urge you to attend. You might even get a chance to meet me!

The event will feature locally produced beer, wine, and cheese, as well as hors d’oeuvres, raffles, coffee, and dessert. Tickets are $45 ($35 for members of the military), and all proceeds will benefit The Hole in the Wall Gang. The Gang runs a camp in CT for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases, and is certainly a worthy cause.

So far, the participating brewery/brewpub list includes:

  • Boston Beer Company
  • Olde Burnside Brewery
  • City Steam Brewery Cafe
  • The Cambridge House
  • Sherwood Forest Brewers
  • John Harvard’s Brew House
  • Thomas Hooker Brewery

If you are a affiliated with a CT brewpub/brewery and are not on that list, give Bryon a shout and get on the list.