On April 25th, The Hop & Vine Taphouse held a long table beer pairing dinner with the Driftwood Brewery. This dinner was very different from the previous Driftwood pairing dinner I had been to, as it was a very big group of people. Every seat was full and the place was packed and busy, but it was great to meet new people. The tickets were $45 a piece (plus tip), and it was a 5 course meal.
This meal was used as a fundraiser for 4 members of the Driftwood Brewery to help raise the money that they need to participate in the Ride To Conquer Cancer. There was a 50/50 draw, raffle tickets and a silent auction for beer related items. There was everything from T-shirts, hats, bottle openers, etc. and beer baskets from Central City, Hoyne, Deep Cove, and of course Driftwood.
Here is a picture of the Driftwood Team that will be doing the ride.
Shrimp Crostini with lemon and fresh herb aioli.
Paired with: White Bark Witbier
I’m not normally a big shrimp fan, but I really liked this course, and the pairing worked well together. The creaminess of the shrimp and the tartness from the balsamic glaze worked well with the dryness of this belgian style wit. It was a light meal that worked well with the lightness of the beer
Chopped Asian Salad with crispy wontons and a citrus ginger chill dressing.
Paired with: Farmhand Saison
This was my favourite pairing of the evening. The pepper in the salad and the pepper in the beer worked perfectly together. I would have liked a lot more of the first and second course, as there were big glasses of beer with refills if needed, but only small dishes of food.
Italian -Asian fusion, sweet and spicy fried free-run chicken thighs served on parmesan risotto
Paired with: Fat Tug IPA
I loved the parmesan risotto, but I didn’t find that the meal complimented the beer as well as the other courses The risotto was my favourite part of this course. The Asian fusion with the risotto seemed odd, I wonder if it would have been better with plain rice. I love Fat Tug so even though I didn’t find the pairing to work quite as well, I still liked it all. The bitterness from the hops worked well with the sweet and spiciness of the chicken.
Roasted Pork Loin
Grains of Paradise roasted pork loin with smokey mashed yams
Paired with: Crooked Coast Altbier
This was my least favourite pairing, but only because I am not a pork fan (other than bacon of course). I love the beer on its own, and I loved the smoky yams, but again, just not a big pork fan. I think the pairing would have been better for someone who did love pork.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Pie
Paired with: Blackstone Porter
This was a fantastic pairing for me. I LOVE peanut butter, and I LOVE porters/stouts, so I was in heaven. The chocolate crust was a bit thick for me, but I ate up all of the peanut butter cream. The bittersweet flavour in the porter along with the chocolate and peanut butter in the dessert worked very well together.
I have to admit I was a little disappointed that there were no Driftwood Seasonal beers at this dinner, but all of their regular beers are great. A big thank you to the Hop & Vine Taphouse for inviting me to this dinner!!