On March 28th Golden Road Brewery held their first beer dinner to celebrate their very first collaboration beer; a blood orange saison brewed with Hangar 24. Beer of Tomorrow was there, and we had a great time! We ate some delicious food, drank some awesome beers, and learned a lot about how to pair food and beer.
According to Golden Road founder Meg Gill, Hangar 24 was not only an inspiration for the Golden Road venture, they were also instrumental in getting Golden Road off the ground. In February the two breweries teamed up for a collaboration that would use a crop of blood oranges from the fields surrounding the Hangar 24 brewery in Redlands. The result was a saison called Valentin and an evening of beer and food that would pair beers from both breweries with a 5-course meal developed by Golden Road’s head chef Adam Levoe.
After some introductory words from Meg, Golden Road brewmaster Jon Carpenter, and Hangar 24 head brewer Kevin Wright the night was underway and glasses of Valentin hit the tables. We’d first sampled Valentin during the Whole Planet Foundation event a few weeks ago, and it was even better than I had recalled. The refreshing saison has a blood orange flavor and color that is distinctive but not overwhelming. The starter course was halibut ceviche with blood orange, ruby red grapefruit, and avocado. The sweetness of the fruit complemented the saison very well, and the beer’s dry finished worked really well with the halibut.
Next came a carnitas tostada that had been cooked in the Golden Road Hefe which was paired with El Hefe Anejo, a tequila barrel aged version of the Golden Road hefeweizen. This was an assertive beer with lots of boozy tequila in the nose that made the beer seem much stronger than the listed 6%abv. Not my favorite pour of the night, but a very creative take on the ever-popular hefeweizen with some tasty pork alongside it.
The first Hangar 24 beer was up next; an English old ale brewed with mourvedre wine grapes called Vinaceous. The beer was dark and malt-forward with an interesting finish that was somewhere between tart and woody. This was paired with pan-seared duck breast on a sweet potato hash brown. The richness of the duck really stood up to the heavy-duty maltiness of the Vinacious, and the way the cherry reduction opened up the flavors in the beer was an unexpected highlight of the dish.
For the “main dish” a pan-seared bistro steak with sunchokes and roasted beets was paired with a very generous 20oz glass of Hangar 24’s excellent Alt-Bier. The steak was cooked to perfection and perfectly complemented by the alt; which features lots of toasted flavor. Our table was impressed with the quality of the steak and were thankful for a substantial course to help balance the four glasses of beer served so-far.
Dessert was a pair of Golden Road’s chocolate truffles and a molasses cookie served with a pint of their Schwartz’s Stout; a creamy nitro stout that is a personal favorite. The dark roasted flavors of the stout worked really wonderfully with the sweet chocolates, and I find the low-alcohol stout to be refreshing and not at all heavy. The molasses cookie was even better, and it has inspired us to start developing our own cookie recipe for pairing with beer.
The evening was lots of fun, and we’d even call it a bargain. For $50 per person you got five plates of delicious food, five generous pours of excellent beer, and the chance to chat with like-minded beer fans and the people behind the beers being served. We were again impressed with how approachable and down-to-earth the whole Golden Road team and Hangar 24 guys, were. We got to talk with Kevin from Hangar 24 for a bit about the process behind the Valentin, and we were very excited to learn that the Hangar 24 canning-line is nearing completion. They hope to have cans of their Orange Wheat and excellent Helles Lager available by mid-summer! Personally, this was a great way to experience some very well thought-out beer/food pairings, a subject that I’m actively working to learn about. We hope that this was just the first of many beer dinners at Golden Road and would recommend that you check out the next one. We will keep you posted on any announcements from Golden Road about future dinners.