Elysian Tangletown Beer Dinner Review

May 19th, 2010 · 7 Comments · Beer & Food, Washington Breweries

This guest review of Monday’s dinner at Elysian Tangletown, featuring Elysian’s Dick Cantwell and Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione, comes to you from Gibson Holub. You should also check out Gibson’s website, Bottle Battle, where he pits two beers against each other and writes up a review. His most recent post compares the Hale’s Seattle Beer Week 2010 Double IPA with the Pike Seattle Beer Week 2009 Double IPA.

Elysian Tangletown Beer Dinner Review

Image by Gibson Holub

If you’re anything like me, picking a beer dinner to attend on Monday night was a tough task. Every one of them sounded absolutely amazing, but since I could only make it to one (Note to SBW organizers and host restaurants: Spread them out next year so we can go to more than one!) I made the decision to try out the Elysian & Dogfish Head dinner at Elysian Tangletown. It was the best decision I’ve made in quite awhile. My senses are still recovering from the hedonistic assault of aroma, taste and texture that the head chef of Elysian, John Knowles, conjured up for all of us lucky beer lovers in attendance.

Each course was paired with two beers (one from each brewery) and the beer lineup was stellar. Sam Calagione raided his personal stash and brought a bunch of 2008 Dogfish Head beer in bottles and Dick Cantwell dug out some gems from the cellar to up the ante even more. All of the beers were excellent on their own and are well worth seeking out to stock your fridge or beer cellar. But beer dinners are all about food pairings, so the following is a rundown of each course and which beer my wife and I thought was a better match with the food. If you love beer, food or both, you may commence drooling now.

Curried cauliflower and potato croquettes with two dipping sauces

Winner: Oaked Idefix (FYI: The Oaked Idefix is a sour beer brewed with ripe persimmons and curry leaves that Elysian made with New Belgium last year. Great beer to have with exotic spiced food. If you see it on draft, get it!)

Cedar planked Black Cod in kasu with an asian cabbage salad

Winner: 08 Red & White (FYI: Red & White is a big Belgian Wit fermented with a bit of Pinot Noir juice and partially aged in oak. Almost wine-like in its complexity. Great beer to offer to your wine loving friends.)

Braised American Wagyu short ribs with a savory herbed bread pudding

Winner: Cyclops Barley Wine (A hoppy barley wine with beef? YES! Also, put a bottle of Burton Baton in your cellar and open it in two years. You won’t be disappointed.)

Duck Confit Salad

Winner: Black & Blue (FYI: Black & Blue is a Belgian golden ale fermented with blackberries and blueberries. The salad also had blackberries and blueberries. It was a perfect match.)

Mixed chocolate truffles and stout caramel sauce

Winner: Both. (FYI: The 08 World Wide Stout is 18% alcohol. Consider yourself warned.)

And finally, if you didn’t make it to any of the beer dinners and you are a regular reader of this blog, shame on you. The hefty price tags are often a deal if you consider the amount of food that you actually end up consuming at these things. Plus, it’s a great chance to get to meet some of the brewers, as well as like-minded beer lovers at the tables around you. Hope to see you at a beer dinner soon!


7 Comments so far ↓

  • Devlin

    Although I can’t call myself vegetarian these days, what about the beer lovers who don’t eat meat? The sheer amount of meat I’d have to eat at these dinners is the main thing that kept me away.

    I’d like to see some kind of badass vegetarian beer dinner (some would say that’s impossible, but I bet it could be done) at next year’s SBW. I think Philly or SF or one of the other beer week cities had one and I believe it sold out. Maybe Cafe Flora could step up.

  • flop

    I have to agree with Devlin. My wife is a vegetarian AND a beer lover who would love to attend a beer maker’s dinner. Hard to justify dropping $50 on a meal when she may be able to eat one thing.

  • Ben

    This was one of the best food/beer experiences of my young life and I can’t wait to try something different next year. Oh, and as Sam pointed out at the dinner, while the o8′ Dogfish Head was advertised, many of the beers he brought were actually from 07′ – I point this out to make others jealous and not for the sake of being factually correct. Too much amazing beer and food.

  • Pat

    isnt chocolate truffles with stout a bad pairing?

    ive found stouts go better with fruitier desserts and go with a lambic/fruit beer with chocolate dishes, ive found that the contrast enhances both the beer and dessert

  • Murphy

    Totally agree on the veg beer dinner. My fiancee is a veg (and beer lover) which makes me one due to proximity. I feel like I recently saw a dinner that a meat course and a veg course (maybe something Pike was doing). Regardless, a vegetarian dinner would certainly show a chefs and beer pairer’s creativity! Bring it on…Seattle can handle it!

  • Gibson

    @Pat, I guess it depends on what’s in the truffles. One of the truffles had citrus peel inside which really enhanced the roasty notes of the beers. Another was lightly sprinkled with salt and was great at taming and subduing the massive World Wide. The final truffle was rolled in hazelnuts which really paired nicely with the coffee flavors in the beers.

    I’ve also had great experiences with lambics and chocolate. Some people prefer a complement, some prefer a contrast. I try not to get caught up in the “rules” and just see if the pairing appeals to my palate at that particular moment.

  • billy

    at first I loved the Braised American Wagyu but now I just get this overwhelming taste of sell out and greed

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