Last night, I skipped running with my beer run club in favor of joining two of my best for Iron Abbey’s Sixpoint Brewery beer dinner. The Iron Abbey hosts a different brewery each month providing a five course meal with five different beer pairings and a representative from the brewery, sometimes the brewer(s) themselves, speak about each of the beers.
Sixpoint founder Shane Welch made the trek from Brooklyn to Horsham, PA to discuss the beers of the evening. I was pleasantly surprised by their Sehr Crisp Pilsner because it had flavor! I generally hate pilsners because they’re bland, but this had a slightly hoppy flavor and was very refreshing. This was paired with a tomato pie topped with roasted onions (below). The spicy sauce provided the perfect compliment with the subtle hops of the pilsner.
The only disappointing course was the second. Sixpoint’s Harbinger Saison was paired with a baked pancetta mac ‘n cheese (below). The saison was not nearly funky enough to be what I’d consider a saison. It was very mild, even lacking the grassy/farmyard nose, so perhaps a good starter saison for craft beer newbies. I was looking forward to the mac ‘n cheese since you can never go wrong with mac ‘n cheese unless you do, like they did last night. First of all, there wasn’t any mac. It was arbrio rice and blank cheese sprinkled with some pancetta – a course I did not finish.
Course three was a New York pastrami sandwich with house made potato chips (below), served with Sixpoint’s Bengali Tiger IPA. Both delicious and flavorful.The Righteous Rye Ale was accompanied by chicken marsala with asparagus risotto (below). I was slightly disappointed they’d strayed from the previous New York theme, but that was before I’d tasted it. The chicken was moist and the mushroom gravy was outstanding. The risotto was creamy and smooth and I was way too full to finish it in all its tastiness. The Righteous Rye wouldn’t be my first choice to serve with a meal like this, but it was a great beer with a nice bite. In the second photo below, look at the beautiful, sticky lace it left.
The final course was a flourless chocolate cake smothered in a chocolate glaze (below) paired with the Otis Oatmeal Stout. I was shocked how visibly thin the stout was – it was described as going for a more medium body, but this was just thin, almost watery. Completely on the other side of the density scale was the flourless chocolate cake: fudgy, dense, sickeningly sweet. What an ending.
The happiest ending of all was my dear friend Michelle, who walked in “feeling lucky,” won a free ticket to next month’s beer dinner featuring Quebec’s Unibroue (you-neh-brew). It’s happiest for me because she’ll be out of town and very graciously passed that ticket along to me. Michelle, you will have a full report on your desk that following Thursday. Hopefully by then I stop using my crappy camera phone to try and capture five course Heaven: seriously, these photos are even edited (yikes). Note to self: start carrying SLR around always.