Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Beer Fest part 2
Tell me you don't want this outdoor kitchen? It's the kitchen in the chef's garden (an actual garden- tomatoes and other things from the garden were used in lunch) outside the "biosphere" which is not a sphere by the way. The chef on the right on his cell phone is Kevin Sbraga ( he was on Top Chef) His food was nothing short of amazing.
For the Beer Tasting and Seminar, before the actual festival, a 6 course lunch was served with each dish matched to a different beer. A woman - sorry don't remember her name, who is a judge at craft beer competitions - seriously I need her job, described the flavor notes in each pairing that made them a good match.
A beer I never would have tried out of TX - had ruby red grapefruit and ginger added during the brew Shiner Ruby Redbird went with the first course of lamb kabobs with za'tar and yogurt sauce. Both were amazing. I realize I'm going to go nuts trying to find more of this beer!
Course 2 was a SMOKED (as in the whole thing was smoked) turkey rueben with spicy thousand island. Paired with sierra Nevada Summerfest. Followed by Carmelized Onion Flatbread with savory peach comfit & foie gras paired with Blue Moon Honeymoon. Soo good - ask Grace - me and onions usually not going to happen. Next came Andouille sliders with garden cucumbers and cilantro paired with Sam Adams Summerfest (a beer I already knew I liked) I came to realize I have clearly been hitting the wrong burger joints! This was followed by the Chef's Garden BLT with Beach House American Pils . interesting for a pilsner, I usually don't care for them but while I won't go out of my way for this, I would drink this again. The heirloom tomato on the sammie was actually creamy. It was excellent! Finally dessert was a Wood roasted Apricot with pomegranate glaze and Cricket Hill Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale. I had 2!! The concept of breakfast ale is intriguing isn't it? And was good - I'll be buying this again.
After this, we went down the hill to the 9th hole for the actual festival. There were some really good beers there. There were some really terrible beers there (Lobster ale while intriguing sounding should be dumped into the sea) And for whatever reason (probably because they make Blue Moon) coors was there with their banquet beer (ok some people may not have had that) but Coors Light?? Seriously - who that drinks beer hasn't had Coors Light at least once?? My favorite and I will definitely be looking for this is a barrel aged ale from Scotland. Innis - they have regular barrel aged which is good, but OMG their rum barrel aged?? rich, caramel deep dark amazing beer!
The bbq they served was decent - but after lunch it was hard to follow. They had a really, really, really bad mostly 80's cover band. What they lacked in talent, ability and musicality they made up for with enough amps and speakers to play a stadium. Seriously people- if you suck at Springsteen, don't do his covers in NJ in front of a bunch of people drinking unlimited beer tastings, hostility will result. It was so bad I kept having to leave the tent.
Overall - if you like beer and you get the opportunity I would definitely recommend going - but if you do spring the extra $40 and go to the seminar first.
AND, lest you think I was setting a bad example for the Angie - we didn't drive. We stayed at a B&B nearby - Alpine Haus and had a car sent from Vernon Taxi to drop us off and come back for us. The driver was a really nice guy, if you are ever in need of a ride in Sussex county call them. We got back to the B&B around 7, I took a 2 hour nap. Then we went to the Vernon Diner & Pancake House for a late supper. AND got carrot cake to go. We only missed 100 laps of the truck race- I guess there was a sizeable red flag - so were surprised that we could have dessert with the end of the race.
Alpine Haus was great- I actually want to go back and stay in the carriage house for a weekend in the fall. I was awake at 5 and amused myself with Ravelry on the tablet, I started a book, and worked on a strip of my chess board project. We had reserved the 9am breakfast, because Curt just likes to sleep late. I had heard a lot about their breakfast, it did not disappoint. Great coffee, a blueberry/coconut muffin, baked peach , bacon and upside down french toast. Even after all we had on Saturday I cleaned my plate.