By the shape of my well-sculpted dadbod, you can safely assume I’ve been to a few beer dinners. You would be correct! I’ve helped organize and pair a few as well. A beer pairing dinner is more than a chance for a brewery to show off its wares; these days it’s more like ‘chefs gone wild’, where five courses can go off the rails into flavor town, stopping at a few breweries along the way. Here’s how to survive your first, plus a few events coming up.
- Don’t “pregame” at the bar. Sure, you got excited and left work early, but beer dinners are already too much food and beer. Plus, destroying your palate beforehand is a rookie move.
- Evaluate the beer first with a sniff and a sip. Next, take a small bite of the food. Finally, marry the two together by taking a bite of the food and a sip of the beer before swallowing. Did magic happen? Elbow-bump the chef and high five the brewer.
- Keep an open mind. Sometimes chefs will break out things you’ve never tried. Sweet breads, geoduck, lingua, elk … I’ve eaten a virtual zoo at beer dinners.
- Look for a 1+1=3 type of pairing experience. Sometimes a beer or dish isn’t your fave. Paired together, are they better? Every now and then it takes both to complete a bite.
- Take photos of friends before your food. Trust me. I have gigs of foodporn and no idea when or where the pics were taken. Enjoy conversation, talk about beers you had recently, snap a photo of your table having fun!
- CUCINA enoteca Newport Beach is celebrating ‘Movember’ with a five-course beer pairing dinner with Anaheim newcomers, Golden Road Brewing on Wednesday, November 18 at 6:30 P.M.
- Haven + Hangar 24 Barrel Roll Series Dinner, Wednesday, November 18th, a few seats are left!
- Darkstar November Dinner at Bottle Logic – Sold Out
- Hidden gem: Cabo Taco Baja Grill, La Mirada. On the third Thursday every month, Chef Kenny breaks out a taco and beer pairing event for usually around $30. It’s always great! Next up is Hangar 24.