Saturday, February 27, 2010

What You Get When You Mix Food, Beer, and Two Jobs

Well, some might say mixing the aforementioned things could get one into a lot of trouble but not in this case. The answer to that question (in my situation) is a deliciously awesome good time!

Lake Placid IPA, formerly named Lake Placid's Frostbite Ale.
This was my favorite beer of the night.

I must explain my situation. My full-time job is marketing manager at Storey Publishing. Storey publishes a large variety of nonfiction, how-to books, and among my favorites are the books in our Food & Drink category. My part-time job is tending bar at the Olde Forge Restaurant in Lanesborough, Massachusetts, which is famous for its large, eclectic beer selection along with its great food — most notably the chicken wings. Since working the bar there, I have learned a lot about beer and have become somewhat of a beer connoisseur (a.k.a. beer snob). To further enlighten you on my situation, I am soon to be married to the head chef. My fiancรฉ, Ryan, often uses my cookbook collection (mostly Storey cookbooks) as inspiration for the ever-changing weekly specials menu and occasionally for unique catering gigs.

Now that I’ve made my roles clear, I can move along to the night of food, beer, and the collaboration of my two jobs.

Annually and sometimes semiannually, the Olde Forge hosts a beer dinner. Ryan is responsible for creating the menu for these events and pairing the beers of honor with each course of the meal. On February 4 Lake Placid Brewery of Lake Placid, New York, hosted the beer dinner at the Olde Forge, and it was Ryan's challenge to come up with a menu to complement their beers. Ryan and I have been to the brewery's restaurant several times, which helped him a bit. He knew he was looking for more rustic, hardy foods rather than fancy and light. He went to my cookbook collection for recipe ideas — and ideas he did find!

Here is the menu of the night, each course paired with a complementary beer.

Cured Meats & Cold Sausages

Fried Brie & Cold Cheeses

Cold Bite-Size Fruits & Vegetables

Assorted Rustic Breads

Spicy Brown Mustard, Cherry Chutney, and Whipped Butter

Beer: Moose Island Ale


Cheddar Ale Soup,
an adaptation of Grafton Cheddar Ale Soup
from Dishing Up Vermont, using Lake Placid's Ale

Beer: 46er Pale Ale

Cheddar Ale Soup

Blackened Scallops over Mixed Greens, Cucumbers,
and Grape Tomatoes Tossed Lightly in a Citrus Vinaigrette

Beer: Lake Placid IPA


Applewood Smoked, UBU Glazed Pork Ribs topped with Fried Leeks
served with
Roasted Root Vegetables and Whipped Yukon Potatoes

Beer: UBU Brown Ale

UBU Glazed Pork Ribs


Bourbon Maple-Pecan Bread Pudding Drizzled with Chocolate Sauce
and Crรฉme Anglaise, Served with Whipped Cream, adapted from the

Maple Bread Pudding recipe from Storey's Maple Syrup Cookbook

Beers: Twice Bitten Barleywine & Sunrise Stout

Bourbon Maple-Pecan Bread Pudding

The food and beer were delicious and well paired. Christopher Ericson, the brewery's owner, and a Lake Placid Brewery representative entertained the diners and informed us guests about the beers we were drinking and about the history of Lake Placid Brewery. It was a great night — I was proud of my fiance for creating and cooking such a delectable menu, the Olde Forge for hosting and putting together such an excellent event, and Storey for publishing such tasteful cookbooks and recipes.

Everyone involved did a wonderful job!

If you are interested in learning more about tasting and pairing beer with food, Storey's Tasting Beer has all the information you will need. Additionally, if you would like to attend a beer dinner at the Olde Forge, there will be a Spaten beer dinner in April, actual date TBA — inquire at the restaurant.

Kristy L. MacWilliams, Marketing Manager

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Now that looks like some tasty food!! I might have to drive out there sometime and try that cheddar ale soup!

-Jenny Halteman
Jigsaw Indexing