Knox Beer Snobs

Beer Tasting – The Market @ Washington & High – 5/23/2011 – Part II

Hello fellow snobs!

You may have seen our previous post leading up to the New Belgium beer tasting/pairing/cooking demonstration at The Market @ Washington and High. If you weren’t able to make it, you missed a fantastic evening. For those that haven’t been to a tasting before, you’ve got to check these out. The company is always great, the beer wonderful and the food fantastic. They will be doing one on June 10th with Depot Street and again on June 17th with Smoky Mountain Brewery – these are a sign-up and prepay deal so run by and get your name down!

Now, what did you miss with the New Belgium tasting? Well, first of all, this tasting was a little bit out off the norm. If you read my previous post you’d know that there was a special guest Chef Christopher Snyder absolutely rocked-it-out with culinary awesomeness and not only paired the beer to the food but also used it to cook with – what could be better?! Now, I’ll be honest, I TRIED to take pictures of the dishes as they were placed before me but I was hungry, I had beer, I apologize. Luckily I have a few extra pictures thanks to Rebecca Ramsey, thanks Rebecca!

Here’s the rundown; cornmeal crusted rainbow trout with shallots, sausage and shrimp, lobster mac and cheese with white truffle oil, sorghum glazed pork ribs with black eyed peas, corn bread and pickled collard greens, juicy lucy sliders and to finish off a cheesecake based bite of deliciousness made by The Market’s very own Mike Adams. The pictures do not do these dishes justice – this food was AWESOME! If you see Chris’s name on the agenda for another event anytime soon, GO!

We also had John Garter onsite from New Belgium and Jeremy Walker from Eagle Distributing to walk us through the New Belgium beer.

Somersault: First off, we had Somersault which is the New Belgium summer seasonal. While we had this in a previous tasting, it was great to have John walk us through this tasting. While this is a bit of a sour brew it is very light, has hints of apricot and ginger and perhaps some lemon. This is what I call an after-you-mow type beer – perfect for the summer.

Fat Tire: Next we had Fat Tire. If you’re reading this blog I’m sure you’re all well aware of this beer and if you’re like me, it was the first New Belgium product you were introduced to. Turns out, this beer accounts for about 70% of New Belgium’s sales. We had this with the lobster mac and cheese. Since I’m sure most of you are familiar with this beer I’m not going to go much further with how it tastes but what I do want to point out is that this isn’t the first time I’ve had it out of the can and it may very well be changing this beer snobs perception of cans. As Jeremy shared with us, the two biggest enemies of beer are air and light – canning takes care of the light part. Now, because the beer is exposed to air for a little longer, a lot of places will infuse CO2 into the beer to keep it carbonated but not New Belgium. Instead New Belgium adds living yeast that produces CO2 to allow for natural conditioning. Ok, enough geek talk – I have to admit, it tastes pretty good and is perhaps the closest thing you’ll get to a draft beer.

Lips of Faith La Folie Sour Brown Ale: I wrote about this beer leading up to this event so feel free to check out that post. However, it does help to have someone who knows the beer walk you through it. I have to admit, this is a very complex beer and while it intrigues me, it’s not one I can drink a lot of. More of a sipping beer than a gulping beer and probably the beer that caused the most conversation for the evening.

Ranger IPA: I was very excited to see this beer last night! For those that don’t know, Ranger IPA is just above Tennessee’s 6.25% ABV requirement to be sold as “beer” clocking in at 6.5%. I’ve had this beer in other states but in a nutshell, things have changed a wee bit and we’ll be seeing Ranger IPA in our local liquor stores and restaurants throughout the area. As far as an IPA goes, this is a very clear and balanced IPA with about 70 IBUs. On the nose you get the hops, citrus, pine that you’d expect and it drinks smooth with some bitterness at the end. Definitely one of my favorite IPAs and I’m happy to see it here.

1554: We finished the evening with 1554 – a black ale. This beer holds a special place in this beer snobs heart as it is the beer that opened up the world of dark beer to my wife. John warned us not to just a beer by it’s color and this one makes that a true statement. It isn’t heavy, has a gentle sweetness to it, smells of coffee and chocolate and paired with dessert perfectly. Definitely a great way to end the evening.

Overall another GREAT evening at The Market @ Washington & High – a big thanks to Mike, Chris, John, Jeremy & Todd for putting this all together.

Oh, and if you haven’t already, get by The Market and sign up to win the New Belgium bike to be raffled off in July!