Monday, February 1, 2010

Recap of Rogue Beer Dinner at Cambridge Common

“We love beer so much, it’s the only reason we get out of bed in the morning.” Amen to that.

Suzanne, one of the masterminds behind Cambridge Common’s beer dinners, said this at their Rogue Dinner last week. After my first beer dinner at Cambridge Common, I had to go back for another. This time, I hit up the beer dinner with Zach, and, somehow, this event was even better than the first. The dinner was also sold out, so Zach and I sat across from another, same aged couple and ended up leaving with two new friends – bonus!

Now, on to the food and brews: I sipped the pre-meal beer, Captain Sig’s Deadliest Ale, while perusing the menu. 

At CC’s beer tastings, you basically get five 6% or higher beers, plus four good sized courses for $50 – and you get your choice of an entrée. The soup of the evening was garlic, cheddar and andouille sausage paired with Dead Guy Ale. Being a vegetarian, Zach was even able to get the soup without the sausage, as CC had made a veggie-friendly batch. The soup was creamy and flavorful, and wasn’t too heavy (despite all the cheese), which was necessary as we had several courses and several heavy beers to go.

The salad was simple, made with baby spinach, toasted hazelnuts, cranberries and crumbled bleu cheese, paired with Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown. The salad was coated with a hazelnut vinaigrette, but the hazelnut flavor was next to nonexistent. The beer was also not my favorite – as one of our fellow diners put it, it tasted like it came “out of the Hershey’s syrup jug.” It really didn’t taste much like hazelnut, and would have been better as a dessert beer, although it did help to cut the tang of the bleu cheese.

The entrée, however, was another story. I had my choice of Crab Stuffed Halibut and a Pork Chop with a Black Lager Mushroom Jus. As if I wasn’t getting enough of a buzz that night, I opted for the pork, which was juicy and perfectly cooked, while the jus reminded me why I finally like mushrooms. 

The pork was paired with Dirtoir, which paired with the mushroom sauce beautifully. The beer was slightly sweet and very dark – but, thankfully, not very heavy. 

Zach, again, was able to get a vegetarian-friendly option, too: the restaurant made him a large plate of yummy, filling side dishes.

Finally, dessert was a Molten Chocolate Lava Cake paired with my favorite beer of the evening: Sebbie’s Chocolate Stout (Sebbie was also in the house that evening, chatting with all the diners/drinkers – I had serious celebrity stage fright). The beer itself I could easily take by IV on a daily basis, and the dessert was decadent, yet not overly sweet. The cake and the beer paired perfectly together, too, without giving my body chocolate overload.

Overall, the Rogue Beer Dinner was informative, delicious, and encouraged social interaction amongst foodies and beer snobs alike. Let’s just say I didn’t leave sober, hungry, or disappointed – which means I had a good night. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind words Michelle. It was a fun evening with lots of great conversation, food and drink! The crew at Cambridge Common do a great job with the pairing, I was really pleased with the spinach salad and Hazelnut Brown Ale, how well the beer played with the vinagrette and blue cheese. But if we all liked the same things equally as much, we would not be blogging or responding about our experiences! When your travels bring you to Oregon, please come visit the brewery in Newport and have some of the many offerings John Maier brews, at the source. Cheers ~ sebbie /