Last week was the Craft Brewers Conference, which yielded 10,000+ beer industry folks visiting Portland, as well as a hundred events involving beer all week. I was able to attend one of the beer pairing dinners that was hosted at Imperial Bottle Shop and Tap Room that highlighted The Bruery and Coquine Supper Club for beer and food pairings.
Oh, I just love when drinks and food are paired together. Not only is the food great, but when paired with drinks specifically, I often find new discoveries as the food transforms with the drink, and the drink is transformed by the food.
This was a particularly special event because usually The Bruery in Orange County, California only has a small number of bottles that you see in the Portland bottleshops, and they were bringing beers I had never had the opportunity to try. Furthermore, Coquine has been operating as a pop-up supper club but this event is supposedly their last pop up dinner until they open their brick and mortar restaurant this summer.
Without further ado, here are the courses I enjoyed for dinner on Friday. I hope this is useful in perhaps inspiring you to try The Bruery, Coquine, check out Imperial Bottle Shop for more events, and/or even doing your own beer and food pairings.
Beer: Bruery Sourrento – a limoncello-inspired sour blonde with lemon & lactose. This was one of my favorite beers of the evening because of it’s lemony tartness.
Food: Smoked green farro with artichokes, schmaltz, and brown butter bread crumbs – just great subtle flavors and fun textures.
Beer: Bruery Loakal – an oaked American Red Ale generally only available in Orange County but brought by the brewers for this event, this is one of their more hoppy offerings with woody flavors and some caramel.
Food: Roasted carrots with creme fraiche, oats, benne seed, aleppo pepper, and crispy pig ear. I could have had a whole handful more of that crispy pig ear on this plate.
Beer: Bruery Geriatric Hipster Club – beer equivalent of an Old-Fashioned; oak, bitters, orange peel. An extremely rare beer as it was produced exclusively for the Bruery’s Hoarders Society members. Although I liked the idea of the beer and the beer itself was ok on it’s own (with very strong bitter and yet sweet notes – and not evoking an Old Fashioned for me as I wanted more bourbon flavor in it), the beer I think overwhelmed the food course.
Food: Beef tartare with Douglas Fir and hazelnuts. I like the idea of using seasonings to bring out flavors, but still missed having an egg here.
Beer: Bruery Tart of Darkness with Cherries & Vanilla – sour stout aged in oak barrels with tart cherries and vanilla beans. Another one of my favorite beers of the evening as you could strongly taste all that the promises – cherries, vanilla, tartness, the roast characteristics of a stout, all in one.
Food: Duck confit with cannelini beans, Luxardo cherry glaze, fennel and caraway.
Beer: Bruery Freckle – mole-spiced imperial stout, the beer offered flavors of chocolate and subtle spice and cinnamon.
Food: Carolina Gold Rice Pudding with cinnamon, vanilla, kumquats, sweet cicely, and dark chocolate salted sable
Sorry for the poorer quality of these photos- I had forgotten my camera and so was armed only with my cameraphone.
Thank you to Imperial Bottle Shop, Bruery, and Coquine for a great event. I hope Imperial Botle Shop will consider doing more beer and food events in the future, that the Bruery will come back to visit Portland with more of their beer, and good luck Coquine with your soon to be open location!
What course sounded most interesting to you, or what beer? Have you ever heard of The Bruery or Coquine before?
As an non sequitur note, next week (Sunday May 3) is the 4th annual Portland Monthly Country Brunch benefiting Zenger Farm. I’ve visited this event the previous year, doing recaps for 2014 and doing a recap for 2013. I’ll be there this year as well: if you have ever been jealous of these events I go to, I highly recommend the Country Brunch. It is is a pretty good value in terms of cost at just $30 for 6 samples each of various competing bloody marys (competing for Best Bloody Mary!) and 6 brunch samples. You can choose to only partake of the brunch and not the booze, AND it is family friendly so you can bring the kids (kids under 5 are free) – it’s always adorable seeing every year kids dancing to the country/folk music band, people don’t seem to openly appreciate the live music at events with dancing as much as kids. Tickets are on sale now and they usually sell out so if you like bloody marys or brunch, this would be a fun Sunday activity!
About Coquine Supper Club
Coquine is a soon to be opened restaurant at 6839 SE Belmont street in Portland’s Mt. Tabor neighborhood. Chef Katy Millard and Ksandek Podbielski began their trek towards the top of Mt. Tabor in 2012, staging one-of-a-kind dinner parties and pop-ups on farms, in wineries and in other restaurants. Along the way this husband and wife duo have developed a ravenous following for Katy’s sophisticated but playful food, and Ksandek’s genuine hospitality and knack for pairing food and drink, which was mostly recently showcased serving as head of the wine program at award-winning restaurant Roe. Katy spent five years working her way up through five different Michelin-starred kitchens in France, and worked as the sous chef at Daniel Patterson’s upscale Coi Restaurant in San Francisco before helping him launch Plum.
Coquin(e): [kō-‘kēn] French. n. or adj. A mischievous child. The word “coquine” is used to chide a mischievous little girl. When directed at a grown up, its meaning is something a bit more flirtatious.
Find out more at Coquine PDX
About The Bruery
The Bruery is a boutique craft brewery located in Orange County, CA specializing in barrel aged and experimental ales. Founded as a small, friend & family run business in 2008, The Bruery takes its unique moniker from founder Patrick Rue’s family surname.
The Bruery is founded on the excitement that Patrick felt in those first years of homebrewing and we continue to strive for that same passion in every aspect of our business today. We never stop challenging ourselves to develop distinctive & imaginative beers, constantly pursuing improvement in all that we do. We brew dozens of original beers each year with our list of ingredients and inspirations growing perpetually. Our collection of oak barrels has also become a primary element of our brewery. Nearly half of our beer is aged in wine or spirit barrels bringing forth flavors reminiscent of the Belgian countryside or classic American distillers.
Find out more at The Bruery
About Imperial Bottle Shop and Tap Room
Drink at our beer-inspired bar, or take beer home to enjoy. Either way, you can choose from 16 local beers on tap and over 400 of the best bottled American craft beer. Whether you’re a seasoned beer drinker or new to craft beer, Imperial provides an enjoyable beer experience through helpful, friendly service and the most sustainable beer-drinking practices available. We were named of of America’s 100 Best Beer Bars by DRAFT Magazine in both 2014 and 2015, and Best Local Beer List in the Northwest 2014 by SIP NW magazine! Find out more at Imperial Bottle Shop and Tap Room