Sunday, August 19, 2012

Beer Brunch

Last night was one heck of a bachelorette party.  My friend Kris is getting married in a couple of weeks so the bridesmaids and I went for a night out in our old college town.


We all had beads and bracelets denoting us as “team bride” for all those who were wondering if we indeed were hanging out with the girl in the tiara and light up sash.  Our time consisted of a few places out and about with drinks here and there.  I ended up as the DD, which was fine especially for my wallet and my figure, and drove everyone home at three in the morning.  I ended up staying at another one of the bridesmaid’s houses for all of six hours.  I woke up at 9ish and decided to just get on the road.  No sense in lagging about.  On my way out of town I stopped by the best bakery in town and snagged a maple bacon donut and a chocolate cinnamon roll with peanut butter and chocolate icing.


I downed the first one and enjoyed the sumptuous bacon flavor with the maple goodness.  I loved it!  I then got about three bites into the chocolate cinnamon roll and realized it was a probably a bad idea to eat both so I stopped and brought it home to Jack so he could taste the wonderful flavors too.

When I got home Jack and I hung out for just a bit before he headed home and I went to a four course, five beer brunch at a local restaurant.  I am a member of the Yelp Elite Squad of my city and they put on this meal for free for selected members of the group.  I was only too happy to have made the RSVP list!  When I got dropped off, I found everyone hanging out in the outdoor pagoda area, basking in the sunshine and sipping on the first beer: Batch 19.


I liked this beer.  It complimented the sunshine and playful atmosphere of the initial reception as people mingled and got to know one another.  After 40ish minutes we were ushered inside for sit at long communal, family-style tables for the actual brunch portion.  We were scheduled to have four full courses each of which were paired with a unique beer.  (I’m no stranger to paired courses but this was my first with beer instead of wine!)


First up was a piece of quiche with sausage, fennel, corn, and herbs.  Had a side of greens on the plate too with some sweet and spicy sauce and cheddar crumbles which tasted a lot of like cheese but they had the texture of the crumbs on top on coffee cake.


The beer we had was served in a cute little wine-looking glass.  It was a bit sharper than any beer I’d had before but it went well with the quiche.  The rich eggy-ness was balanced by the bright, clean nature of the beer.


Our second course was rarebit, aka cheese on toast.  However, this wasn’t just any cheesy toast.  This was a hunk of freshly baked homemade bread smothered in an aged, smoked cheddar cheese with lots of cayenne and dry mustard.


This doesn’t look like it would be spicy but it actually was.  By the time I finished it off my mouth was pretty hot.  Thankfully the second beer (a Belgian ale) was good at cooling me off.  It was way more bitter to me than the first and it was tolerable if I sipped it after a bite of toast.


There was a bit of time between the second and third courses but the latter was worth the wait.  On the next plate was a slice of lamb dressed in a veggie masala sauce on a bed of mung bean stew and some roasted eggplant chunks.


Oh, yum.  The stew was thick and hearty, the lamb gamey, and the eggplant sultry.  The sauce managed to pull it all together.  When I got a bit of everything on the fork, I was very pleased.  Even when I didn’t get all the bits together in a single bite I was a happy camper.  The beer paired with this course was an IPA.


The carbonation helped to scrub your tongue in-between bites making each bite taste just as new and fresh as the last.  The greatest thing about this beer though was the incredible aroma.  I stuck my nose in the glass and was met with a beautiful fruity aroma.  The soft citrusy notes of the beer went super well with the spice in the masala sauce.  Finally, the last course was dessert in the form of a raisin waffle with a lemon cream cheese ice cream.


Holy. Smokes.  This was beyond incredible.  I wanted to live in that cream cheese ice cream.  I couldn’t get enough of it.  Honestly, some people left some on their plates (those people were lactose intolerant) and the guests by me and I all were wondering if we could politely steal the leftovers.  It was that good.  I wish you could try it, seriously, you’d die of awesomeness.  Obviously, my portion didn’t last long…


The beer paired with dessert was a dark ale with all sort of smooth and nutty notes.  I was just amazed.  It smelled so rich and full and went down really easy.


Probably the best thing we were told to do was to take a scoop of ice cream and dunk it into the glass of beer.  Oh my goodness, I was blown away.  If I ever was going to do a beer float, it would be this beer and this ice cream.  Too bad it isn’t sold by the pint.  Or maybe that’s a good thing, says my waist…  Now full and happy, I’m about to head off to school to work on patient reports that I’m behind on.  I’m also in the middle of laundry meaning I’m going to be very fashionable on my way over there.


Oh yea, you’re jealous.  I can tell.  Haha.  I’ll try not to stop any traffic with my brightness.  I make no guarantees, my friends.  Catch you on the flipside.

Questions: Do you play catch-up on Sundays or just let things be for the week?
What beer and ice cream would you pair for a float?


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