Last night was the first Lift Bridge beer dinner at the Water Street Inn, Stillwater. Brad, Steve and Dan turned out and brought with them their new summer seasonal, Minnesota Tan. It’s a Belgian triple made with a generous amount of lingonberries that is highly drinkable and dangerous at 8.5% ABV. Just like the summer sun on the fair skin of many Minnesotans, this one has the potential to sneak up on you, but just like a fun day spent outdoors without the 60 SPF on, but it’ll be worth it. I don’t know when or where this will be available but I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for it.
Besides their great new beer, they also brought along one of my out of stock favorites, Harvestor. This is quite possibly some of the last left of the brew made from their own homegrown, fresh hops. Having matured, the hops are more balanced than when the beer was young so it’s a distinctly different flavor but still a great beer.
The five course meal started with their flagship, Farm Girl, accompanying a trio of stuffed hors d’oeuvres (pork egg rolls, blue cheese mushrooms and smoked sausage wontons).
Once seated the second course of slow roasted shrimp with fennel slaw & garlic beurre blanc was served with Biscotti.
Next up was a three cheese soup served with the above mentioned Harvestor. The pepper jack cheese gave the soup a great little kick.
The main course was a HUGE bone in ribeye steak with Crosscut. This was the downer part of the dinner both for the over doneness of the steak and the size. With so many courses, a piece of meat even one quarter of the size would have been sufficient but being the trooper I am, I devoured it. Thankfully, at that point there was an intermission.
In addition to giving time to make room for the upcoming dessert course we also enjoyed some nice cigars provided by Maria Caram of International Cigars (the price of the meal included 2 cigars). She had two varieties, a lighter and a darker cigar, and a couple different lengths to choose from.
Just about the time we were finishing up with cigars we were invited back inside for dessert, an incredible cranberry chocolate bread pudding topped with caramel glaze, chocolate and fresh cream. This was paired with Minnesota Tan and it was a great way to end the meal.