I was recently approached by former beer radio host and current Beer Buzz blogger Benjamin Stange about doing a bit of a beer pairing challenge. Around Valentine's Day, earlier this year, Ben had guest Chef Marty Lowry of the Springfield Hy-Vee stores on the show to discuss an easy, but elegant multi-course dinner for your Valentine. Ben provided the beer pairings to accompany Marty's menu. With this show topic, Ben had suggested towards the end of the show that it would be an interesting experiment to have Marty and I work on separate menus to accompany a pre-determined selection of beers. Okay, to be quite "Frank About" it, Ben called me out on the radio! A gauntlet was thrown, and it was on!
After both participants missing the deadline to get it on for American Craft Beer Week, we decided leading up to Memorial Day weekend would be a perfect opportunity to toss out a grill-centric menu!
The rules were clear and simple:
1. Ben selected four local beers (in order of food course: Springfield Brewing Company's 11 Point Pilsner, Boulevard Brewing Company's Tank 7 Farmhouse Style Ale, White River Brewing's Belgian-style Table Rock Red, and Mother's Brewing's Three Blind Mice)
2. We had to come up with a dish for each course that would pair well with the beer
3. All dishes needed to focus on the grill
4. We needed to explain how we came up with the pairing, and how it worked with the beer
5. Provide the recipes for the readers
As an added fun factor, Ben decided to make it a bit of a friendly competition; he asked readers to comment on each day's post with which pairing they thought would work better. That's been fun. Luckily, my friends and followers of the blog have been honest in their comments, and several friends have voted against me, thus far! That's how I wanted it to turn out.
We are heading into the final course, today: dessert. The beer Ben selected is a tricky one for dessert. You will learn why, when you read the post, a bit later this morning. I may reprint the recipes here in the following weeks. I do encourage you to head over the the Beer Buzz blog and take a look. I will provide the links below to each day's course!
Links to each day:
Course #1: appetizer
Course #2: salad
Course #3: main dish
Course #4: dessert
Final Wrap-Up and Menu Summary