Heading into a weekend filled with great beer events – a special dinner with New Glarus Brewing Co. at Bacchus tonight, and the women-only Pils Party on Sunday at the Sugar Maple – 5 great Pilsners, from classic Pilsner Urquell, to Victory Prima Pils, with a few surprises from my beer cellar.
Here’s the menu from Bacchus Executive Chef Adam Siegel for the New Glarus beer dinner with a few tasting notes about each pairing from me:
Dungeness crab and melon salad with fresh thyme, lemon and Espelette pepper, topped with crisped prosciutto - NGBC Spotted Cow – this was an amazing match, with the mild ale highlighting the sweetness of the crab and melon
Strauss veal Tartare with a quail egg, with Parmigiano, orange gremolata and celery root remoulade – NGBC Totally Naked provided crisp carbonation, more of a textural contrast
Seared sea scallop with spiced rhubarb, fava beans, and Port wine syrup – NGBC Dancing Man Wheat brought up the caramelized sear on the scallop, but the rhubarb was a bit too sweet and served in a very generous portion…
Grilled quail breast with stewed apricot and foie gras sauce – NGBC Imperial Saison was wonderful with the quail alone, but the apricot was candy-sweet and made the ale taste very sour in comparison
Braised Shortribs with cumin, caramelized cauliflower and garlic spinach – NGBC Stone Soup, a strong golden ale modeled on a tripel, made the richness of the beef taste even better and its yeasty bite was a perfect foil for the garlicky greens
Lamb noisette with brown butter polenta, toasted hazelnut crumbs and sauteed artichokes – NGBC Fat Squirrel brown ale made a seamless match with the brown butter and lamb topped with toasted nuts
Creme fraiche panna cotta with strawberry soup, grapefruit and pistachio brittle – NGBC Wisconsin Belgian Red accented the slight tartness of the fresh fruit, although the brittle perched atop the panna cotta had absorbed a lot of moisture by the time we were served and was no longer truly a crisp brittle, more like a caramel
It was a huge crowd for the dinner – about 150 people, with about a dozen people from the local distributorship showing their support of the brand. Dan Carey spoke briefly about the beers, but spent most of the night circulating from table to table. The New Glarus Hilltop Brewery has its grand opening on Saturday June 13, so that will be the next big party celebrating the end of two years of construction….