Beer and Amazing Barbeque! That about sums up the awesome beer pairing dinner at Spring Street Smoke House. Smoke House’s Jason Kruger has been hard at work reinventing the beer program at the restaurant, and so far he has successfully had two great beer pairing dinners and a spring festival (see our coverage of Springfest 2012). In the second of four pairing dinners planned for 2012, Jason featured some new barbeque items as well as the malty side of Stone. We powered through some truly amazing food and beer, but a slight word of warning here: the pictures and descriptions are not going to do this event justice.
#1 – Meatloaf sticks with gorgonzola drizzle
Beer: Stone Levitation
Think fried mozzarella sticks only instead of mozzarella inside, it’s beer meatloaf. This was paired with Stone’s Amber, Levitation. The lightly hoppy amber really balanced out the savory and crunchy fries.
#2 – Double-cooked hot wings, smoked, dry-rubbed, and hot marinated in Sublimely Self Righteous
Beer: Stone Sublimely Self Righteous
Smoke House’s signature wings dry-rubbed and smoked, but then hot-marinated in Sublimely Self Righteous and then barbequed again. These are the ultimate in spicy beer wings, and they were paired with a great American Black Ale (Black IPA). The spice and flavor combinations were intense.
#3 – Man-size Texas salad with Gastrique Ale Vinaigrette
Beer: Stone Texas Brown Ale (TBA)
This may have been my favorite pairing. The chef made a gastrique by simmering down Stone’s Texas Brown Ale and used it in the salad’s vinaigrette. Matched with the cascade citrus notes in the brown ale, it really got your brain going. Lime, grapefruit, and fresh orange flavors from the hop and gastrique really made the seemingly simple mixed green salad a memorable course.
#4 – Hot-marinated Imperial Russian Stout burnt ends, St. Louis rib tips, and barbecued chicken. Also Fries and grilled veggies.
Beer: Stone Imperial Russian Stout
Why lie? This was the meat course, and this is the course that put us all over the edge. For all you penny pinchers out there, this beer dinner was worth every coin and then some. Spring Street has beer and barbeque, and they make sure you get enough. Stone Imperial Stout marinated burnt ends, barbecued chicken, barbecued ribs, and a ton of barbeque sauce slathered over everything. Rich, spicy, and savory barbeque is a great pairing with any type of Imperial Stout, and this stout was the perfect pairing for this course.
#5 – Homemade cinnamon whipped cream bread pudding with barleywine reduction.
Beer: Stone Old Guardian Barleywine
Is it a crime that I couldn’t even come close to finishing this course? Yes! By the time we made it to this, the last chapter in an amazing dinner, none of us could spare any room. What did we do? We ate it anyway. A delicate cinnamon whipped cream sat on top of a truly tasty bread pudding made with a reduced Stone Barleywine. Paired with the sweetness of the barleywine itself, it was the perfect dessert. I brought what I couldn’t eat home to my wife, and she devoured it in 30 seconds. Now I want more.
Another great beer dinner, Jason! And kudos to the Chef as well as the entire Smoke House team. Great job to the Stone reps Sean and Norm for their cicerone descriptions and general beer knowledge. It was a great time, but again our descriptions and pictures can’t do this night justice. The only way you are going to know what we are talking about here is to stay tuned and mark your calendars for the next Spring Street Smoke House beer dinner. I wonder what it’s going to be next time.
Los Angeles Ale Works™