Lompoc Brewing is holding an eight-course Brewer's Dinner June 22, giving folks a couple days to recover from PDX Beer Week before tucking into an evening that will include pan seared duck breast, dessert crepes and cheeses. Head Brewer Bryan Keilty, who was a chef before he became a brewer, collaborated with Chef Mark Otey on a menu that offers a wide range of flavors both in the food and the beers they're paired with.
Last week I had the opportunity to sample three of the dinner's courses and to put it bluntly - YUM! The tasting started out with the first course, yellow fin ahi tuna tartar with julienned English cucumbers and pears prepared in the uke style, paired with Cranberry Saison. The pear and soy sauce added a mild sweetness to the tuna tartar with the cucumbers giving it a refreshing crunch, all of which matched the beer in intensity - a great, light start to a multi-course meal. The Cranberry Saison is a great summer beer, clocking in at an easy drinking 5% ABV with enough cranberry flavor, from the cranberry puree added at the end of fermentation, to balance the Saison base.
We then skipped ahead to the third course, micro green salad tossed in a vinaigrette made from agrumato, apricots and pink peppercorns, paired with Mystical Apricorn Belgian Pale Ale. Besides the great name, this beer has a complexity from the pink peppercorns (added at the end of the boil) and the apricot puree (added at the end of the fermentation) that complimented the vinagrette dressing the salad. Another light pairing overall with the beer presenting more assertive Belgian characteristics.
The final course sampled, pan seared duck breast with brandy cherry glace de canard and a roasted cashew and duck confit risotto on roasted seasonal vegetables, paired with 2012 Black Mamba Sour Stout, was decedant deliciousness. Both the beer, aged for four years on sour cherries, and the glazed duck smelled amazing. It was hard not to snarf both up in an instant. I'm not sure which I could have consumed more of, the 4.5% sour stout that while thin for a standard stout is perfect for a sour version, or the duck in its meaty-not-sweet cherry glaze.
We were also treated to a taste of the beer for the fourth course, Straight Outta Hopton IPA (another great name!). It's a collaboration with two loyal Lompoc customers that isn't so intensely hoppy that it will overpower the sorbet it will be paired with at the dinner, but with enough hop character for this hop head to want to order a pint of it.
Tickets for the dinner are $65/person and available by calling 503-288-3996 or stopping by Fifth Quadrant. Full menu and details can be found on the Facebook event.
3901 N Williams
Wednesday, June 22 6pm