By The Hack
The Hack has a question for you, dear readers: What is this photograph’s subject? The Hack grasps that most ladies don’t like to be “objectified,” but when attire like this (with directions posted) is worn, what’s a healthy heterosexual male to do? If one is truly innovative, snap a picture, pretending to be aiming at food, that’s what. Then post it on the Internets.
Anyhoo, the Hack, for all his socializing, had never attended one of the beer dinners that have started popping up lately. He’s had several beers with a dinner, of course, but never deliberate food/beer pairings (aside from Newcastle and hot hot Thai food. Awesome combo! A low alcohol, smooth brew is perfect with that fare). His judgment of the Great Waters Brewing Co. beer dinner on Monday, August 17: Neat-o.
A bit about the Hack: He’s no beverage expert, but he has had some formal training. He can reasonably navigate a wine list, and pick something that won’t be terrible with the food. He also grasps that good beer varieties are complex enough to be paired nicely with particular foods.
Five courses, five beers. Beers were served in eight-ounce glasses, meaning there was no stumbling at the finish, and no one got too filled to enjoy themselves. Highlights on the food and pairing side were an arepas chicken tinga drizzled with cilantro aioli paired with the Golden Prairie Blonde (a light golden ale) and a pork tenderloin with fried polenta and chorizo and corn salsa paired with the Brown Trout Brown Ale. Also interesting (and tasty) was a pistachio encrusted walleye with corn fritters and a yellow pepper and orange sauce paired with the Kaizerweizer Hefeweizen.
The Hack’s never been a huge fan of hefeweizens (wheat beer), and still isn’t, but the one that poured down his gullet that night at least got him thinking. First, it was nearly transparent. Hefeweizens are traditionally not filtered. This one wasn’t either, explained Great Waters master brewer Robert DuVernois, it was just not moved when stored and any particles just went the way of gravity. The flavor, while tasting like a hefeweizen, was also unique for its overall lightness, and in the way it fell away (at least it did for the Hack) on the palate, almost like a fino sherry.
It was a very tasty, inventive meal, and the Hack was impressed that it was pounded out from a small kitchen that still served the regular crowd without missing a beat. Owner Sean O’Byrne was there, hustling plates and mingling. Visit the Great Waters site for info on upcoming dinners.