Thursday 3 March 2011

Dean Swift : BrewDog IPA is Dead Dinner.

So, after spending the afternoon in The Harp(blog to follow, I promise!) I went off to the Dean Swift Local Beer House. After turning up too early I went to a couple of other bars to wait around and I have to say the Dean Swift is by far the best pub in the vicinity!

When I did finally get in, I went to the bar and got myself a pint of Dark Star Espresso, one of my current favourites, found my table and my table mates and waited for the usual BrewDog carnage to unfold....

What I got instead was a six course meal matched with some superbly tasty beers, here's how they came out and my impressions of the matchings...

Course One. Punk IPA (canned) with Seared Scallops and Cauliflower Veloute and a Madras Dressing.
Well, by the time the food got to me it was a tad to cold, it was still very tasty and the madras dressing went very nicely with the aromatic hops of the Punk IPA, a very nicely balanced starter to the evening.

Course Two. IPA is Dead (Citra) with Chicken & Wild Boar Roulade with an Apple, Pistachio & Marsala Wine Jus.
Citra is a 'new world' hop from Washington State that has recently become the 'hop de jour' and frankly the way some brewers have used it has been a little bit...shall we say uninspiring? Well, at BrewDog they're not like that, every beer has to be a poke in the eye, every beer has to stand up and shout and they generally do!
At a recent IPA is Dead tasting at the Euston Tap bar, the Citra was I think the last of the beers to be tried and it suffered because of that(on my over-indulged taste buds anyway). This time round it's the first of the series to be tried and as it's the subtlest of the four it gets somewhat overpowered by the food pairing which was quite spicy. The beer was still in top notch form and the food was excellent, I'm just not sure the two went together.

Course Three. IPA is Dead (Bramling Cross) with Braised Wild English Rabbit & Caramelised Pear.
This is my second favourite of the four beer series. There was a fifteen or so minute wait so Tom 'the cad' Cadden otherwise known as 'Magic Dog' trawled out a couple of BrewDog stories for the crowd. Now BrewDog aficionados will know these stories from tastings and meet the brewer events around the world no doubt, but they still make me chuckle, especially the 'I'm not Fucking Mother Teresa' one which went down well with the crowd last night.
The food came out pretty much bang on the ending on the story, it looked gooood, it tasted great. I've never had Rabbit before and this was a great if not bony introduction to Bugs Bunny stew! A bit about the beer...well I would describe it like a beery equivalent to Neapolitan ice cream, there's chocolate and strawberry there with hints of blackberry and pepper.
The pairing was superb, makes me want to go kill a wabbit!

Course Four. IPA is Dead (Nelson Sauvin) with Spicy Lamb Tagine.
I remember thinking, this is going to be a cracking pairing. I wasn't wrong. This is big, spicy food with Harissa added,  paired with big IPA full of gooseberry and grapefruit. This was the FABPOW of the evening and I'm in the corner as an official hater of that phrase. I'm just a sucker for spicy food and IPA's I guess. However! If it had been Hardcore IPA it would have been AWESOME!

Course Five. IPA is Dead (Sorachi Ace) with Kaffir Lime & Lemongrass Panna cotta and Ginger & Lemongrass Green Tea Jelly.
This, theoretically should be a great pairing. It was the brainchild of Max, manager of the Dean Swift and he knows his stuff. At this point I've got a bit of a moaner at the table and he's not getting the whole beer and food matching thing. The words 'I only drink beer or wine to get pissed' Save me.
The beer did thankfully. The Sorachi Ace hop is one of the most complex and interesting in the world, in some ways it's the Marmite of the beer world, people seem to either love it or hate it. I love it.
This single hopped IPA paired with the Lime and Lemongrass Panna cotta was superb, the Jelly, not so much, I just got nothing off it!

Course Six. Hardcore IPA with Neals Yard Dairy British Cheeses and Oat Crackers.
One was a nice big blue cheese and the other was nice strong cheddar, paired with Hardcore IPA it was good, personally I think it would have worked much better with Chaos Theory! Hear me BrewDog. Hear me!

So that was it, a good night, lots of excellent food and lots of excellent beer. I'd like to thank Max and his team at the Dean Swift and Tom and everyone at BrewDog for organising this event, I had a great time.
Now, I promised to do a write-up on the Harp...

Hear me BrewDog, Hear me....
Just for good measure though, I'll add this photo of Chaos Theory!


dredpenguin said...

Similar last course to the Burns night/brewdog do at the White horse.

Hardcore IPA and blue cheese pairing is awesome. I was less impressed with the strong cheddar.

Sounds like a decent night.

rabidbarfly said...

It was a good night, apart from the nay sayer next to me.

Professor Pie-Tin said...

Talking of naysayers - I've grown a beard and sired four more kids since you went to the Harp.

This had better be some blog old fruit !

rabidbarfly said...

alright! alright! I'm writing it!!

Mark Dredge said...

Sounds great - really interesting matches!

rabidbarfly said...

@Mark It was and they were, you were supposed to be on my table, should I take it as a personal slight that you didn't turn up? ;-)