Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Brewers Night Recap: Abbeydale and Thornbridge Brewery

Smoked Salmon Paté paired with Rhubarbe de Saison beer from Thornbridge Brewery
Brewers Night with Thornbridge Brewery
In our last post we shared how excited we were to launch our BBQ and Brewers Night Series – a fun opportunity to showcase not only our authentic American BBQ but also just how well it can pair with the dizzying selection of fantastic beers being brewed in and around Sheffield. We thought, heck, this should be pretty simple – visit a brewery, sample a bunch of beers and find five to match with our favourite smoked meats.  Job done.  Uh, no, the process was nowhere near that simple.  The arduous process of tasting and re-tasting was so iterative we were unsure if a repertoire the size of Abbeydale or Thornbridge Brewery was vast enough to match the dishes we thought we wanted to serve.  Yeah, I know how ridiculous that sounds.

As a chef, there are so many exciting elements in a process like this.  We first look to find flavours in beers that enhance, balance and flatter the flavours that we know in our food.  Then, unexpectedly, we taste something that just grabs us - WTF was that?  Can we do something with this? Should we?  Hell yeah, we have to! And that really changed the game for us – forcing us to push our own boundaries and create bespoke dishes to match these amazing finds.

Smoked Pheasant Rillettes, Brewers Night with Abbeydale Brewery
With Abbeydale Brewery, it was the Birdhouse Tea Beer –a beer infused with tea from the Birdhouse Tea Company – that we took to immediately. So light and delicate, we served the Tea Beer in a champagne flute and paired it with smoked pheasant rillettes with pickled red onions on a black pepper cracker. It was a starter dish we created specifically to pair with the Birdhouse Tea Beer.

With Thornbridge Brewery, a Vienna style lager Kill Your Darlings one of the five beers that stood out which we paired with our beef brisket smoked overnight just for the occasion. But it was Thornbridge’s Raspberry Imperial Stout that dazzled us – clocking in at a whopping 10% ABV, it of course begged to be paired with a warm chocolate brownie and white chocolate ganache.

To put it modestly, I think we all succeeded in our objectives.  Both Abbeydale and Thornbridge Breweries both rose to the occasion to provide some really phenomenal beers for our five course dinner pairing.  This is why we hold these events – because we love to create new things and share the results with our customers.  And if we make people happy in the process, we dig that.

And we cannot be more excited to announce our next BBQ and Brewers Night Series on Wednesday 25th May with newcomer Lost Industry Brewery.  Jimmy Seaton, founder and head brewer, is as quirky and cool as the beers he brews. So unique are his beer creations that we’ve been inspired to create some funky dishes to match. Check out our next menu pairing with Lost Industry Brewery. If this is something you dig, email us or call 0114 278 1000 to book your tickets now, as this is sure to sell out quickly.

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