Archive for March, 2011

Gordon Biersch Hoppotamus Maximumus

Posted Mar 26, 2011 in Beer, Beer Humor, Breweries, Brewpubs, People

Thanks for Brookston Beer Bulletin on this!

Urthel beer dinner at Bouchon featuring Owner, Hildegard Van Ostaden

Posted in Beer, Beer Pairings, Breweries, Cooking with Beer, Events, People

We’re pleased to announce a very special beer dinner at Bouchon on Tuesday, April 12, featuring owner and brewmaster of Urthel Brewery, Hildegard Van Ostaden. We met Hilde five years ago at BeerAdvocate’s Belgian Beer Festival in Boston and look forward to hosting her here in Asheville.

The dinner will be held in Bouchon’s “Beer Cellar” in an intimate setting with very limited seating. The dinner will feature a traditional French/Belgian farmhouse 5-course menu paired with the beers of Urthel, including some cellar reserves by Urthel that are no longer produced.


Welcome: Brie en croute chaud. Baked brie served with chutney, fruit, nuts.
Pairing: Urthel Hop-It

First: Mussels Parisienne with Saisonniere ale, garlic, thyme sauce.
Pairing: Urthel Saisonniere

Second: Le Poisson avec Tripel buerre blanc. Tilefish finished with Tripel infused buerre blanc served with couscous pilaf.
Pairing: Urthel Hibernus Quentum Tripel

Third: Le Canard et ris de veau grand mere. Duck & sweetbreads stew with Urthel Vlamese Bock broth.
Pairing: Urthel Vlamese Bock

Dessert: Creme brulee infused with Urthel Quadrium.
Pairing: Urthel Quadrium

Please call Bouchon for reservations, 828.350.1140.
$48.50 per person all inclusive.

Thursday Tasting 3/24: Peak Organic Brewing

Posted Mar 23, 2011 in Beer, Breweries, Goings on, Seasonals

Join us tomorrow 5:00-7:00 p.m. for a flight from Peak Organic Brewery!

“Our Nut Brown Ale starts out very smooth, like an English-style Brown Ale. The use of Chocolate Malt, Munich Malt, and Hallartau Hops give this beer a crisp, nutty finish. Peak Nut Brown is a delectable beer loaded with complex, differentiated flavors that don’t overwhelm the palate, making it a perfect dark beer for food pairing.” [4.7% abv]

PEAK ORGANIC Espresso Amber Ale
“A robust amber ale brewed with locally roasted, organic fair trade espresso with help from our friends down the street at Coffee by Design. This malty amber ale is brewed with substantial amounts of Munich Malt, providing a perfect backbone for the rich, roasty flavor imparted by the espresso.” [7.0% abv]

PEAK ORGANIC Simcoe Spring Ale
“We love the piney, fruity flavors of Simcoe® hops. This is a classic pale ale, single-hopped and dry-hopped with Simcoe. We cold condition this beer and give it a restrained malt profile, so the hops really pop, like flora in spring. Our friends Patrick, Jason and Brad grow these luscious hops and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do.” [5.4% abv]

“This unique India Pale Ale features our favorite hops—Simcoe®, Amarillo® and Nugget. A generous Amarillo and Simcoe dry hop provide for an assertive, hop-forward nose and front palate. We don’t use traditional bittering hops in our IPA, providing nothing but stimulating citrus and floral characteristics.” [7.2% abv]

WNC Chef’s Challenge: Cooking with Beer

Posted Mar 18, 2011 in Beer, Beer Pairings, Breweries, Cooking with Beer, Goings on, The Beerlanthropy® Project

The WNC Chef’s Challenge is going on right now and last week’s ingredient was… BEER! The event squared off teams from Pomodoros and Tomato Jam Café, featuring beers from Lexington Avenue Brewery and The Wedge. Here is the low-down, reprinted with permission from WNC Magazine.

To some, beer trumps bacon as a secret ingredient in the Chefs Challenge. After all, here in Beer City, USA, we wash down every meal with a local microbrew, right? But if you ask any nonchef holding a pint what dishes you can make using beer, you might get a glazed stare that can’t be attributed to his or her alcohol level. Luckily, the teams in the second face-off of the Chefs Challenge competition, led by Chef Greg King of Pomodoros Greek and Italian Café and Chef Daniel Wright of Tomato Jam Café, rose to the occasion, subtly blending the beverage into batters, sauces, and even chocolate mousses.

Wedge Brewing Co. and Lexington Avenue Brewery, both in Asheville, supplied the star ingredients. The evening played out with two seafood and two pork dishes, and two chocolate mousses. The opening offering by Pomodoros, an IPA-battered shrimp, was a logical use for the beer, but the accompanying beet and goat cheese salad and candied lemon slice brought color and originality to the dish. Chef Wright’s dish of striped bass with parsnip and sunchoke puree that followed was a nice taste progression. Though the puree could easily have been mistaken for mashed potatoes at first glance, its sweetness was a fresh complement to the fish, which was rated the second best dish of the evening.

Two very different takes on pork and beer came next. Tomato Jam’s pork loin ragù served with sides of beet and carrot grits created a colorful plate. The savory ragù with tender bites of pork was the standout on the plate. At least one diner (me) guessed that the following plate, an American Pale Ale-braised pulled pork butt with ale-infused barbecue sauce and a crisp and refreshing apple and fennel slaw, was in keeping with Tomato Jam’s menu of homestyle cooking. Instead, it was a testament to Chef King’s culinary versatility. The apple slaw with cider vinaigrette was a bright and refreshing take on a traditional cabbage salad.

Both presented mousses for dessert, creating a battle of chocolate. Pomodoros’ mocha stout mousse was the lighter of the two and came presented in a phylo cup complemented with porter ice cream, sprinkled with caramel brittle. Tomato Jam’s richer chocolate dollop was festooned with a blue peppermint candy twist. Both dishes were fine finales, but perhaps it was the ice cream that pushed Pomodoros ahead, because diners rated this the top dish of the evening.

Chef King claimed the victory in the match-up, which was even closer than last week’s between Bistro at Biltmore and Deerfield Community, with only 439 points, less than 7 percent of the vote, separating the challengers. Cheers to both chefs.

Team Pomodoros
Led by Chef Greg King
- Japanese-style, IPA-battered shrimp with cucumber, goat cheese, and beet salad with ale-lemon vinaigrette, candied lemon, and arugula
- Wedge American Pale Ale-braised pulled pork butt with ale barbecue sauce, and apple and fennel slaw with apple cider vinaigrette
- Mocha stout mousse in phylo dough garnished with roasted pistachios, and served with porter ice cream topped with caramel brittle

Team Tomato Jam
Led by Chef Daniel Wright
- Striped bass with raisin tapenade, bay leaf-ale béchamel, parsnip-sunchoke purée, and arugula garnish
- Pork loin ragù with shiitake mushrooms and beet and carrot grits
- Chocolate stout mousse with a chocolate-beer reduction, served with a buttery pastry cookie and berry gastrique

Next week: Chef Rob Keener of Flight Wood Grill & Wine Bar in Hendersonville vs. Chef Jason Roy of Lexington Avenue Brewery in Asheville. Visit to purchase tickets.

New at Bruisin’ for the weekend. Cheers!

Posted in Beer, Breweries, Coolness, New this week, Seasonals

Spring is here! The long-awaited canned brews from Avery have arrived just in time for the warm weekend. We also see the return of Dogfish Head Aprihop. And, of course, a couple other gems await…

AVERY Ellie’s Brown (cans)
AVERY Joe’s Pilsner (cans)
AVERY IPA (cans)
AVERY White Rascal (cans)
FLYING DOG Wild Dog Coffee Stout
GREAT DIVIDE Belgica Belgian IPA
GREAT DIVIDE Collette Farmhouse Ale
GREAT DIVIDE Espresso Oak-aged Yeti
HIGHLAND Little Hump 6-pks
LEFT HAND Good Juju Ginger
LEFT HAND TNT Weizenbock