Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Craft Brew Dinner #4

Last night was Dexter's Pub's Heritage Series Craft Brew Dinner number 6, #2 was canceled and #3 we skipped.  This month's craft brewery was the local Capital Brewery, from nearby Middleton, Wisconsin.  Six courses of good beer and food!  Surprisingly, less seats were sold for this dinner - sixteen - than the usual 20 spots available.  That may be because the brewery was very local and people are already familiar, or just because it is Summer and there are other things to do.  No matter, we had a good time.  Once again we were joined by my friend Ted, a craft beer connoisseur - especially compared to me.

20150720_200201The first beer I was very familiar with because it was the quarter barrel we got for our party a month or two ago, Capital Amber.  Ambers are good for a middle-of-the-road type beer.  There was also an IPA for one course.  I've said it before but I just don't like the perfume-y smell and taste of IPAs and unfortunately they are the popular thing now, I blame the hipsters.  At least the hipsters that have graduated from - gag - Pabst Blue Ribbon.  Pabst was a cheap beer that my dad drank when I was a kid, and it's still cheap but somehow super popular again.  And then there was also what seems to be a mandatory coffee flavored beer.  Again, I'm not a fan, but I was in the minority.  I've never been a coffee drinker because I hate the taste and putting it in beer does not change that for me.  There were no sour beers presented last night, I don't think Capital even makes one.  My wife and I have been paying attention and seeking them out recently.  Who knew we'd like the sour beers, but we do.  No, whiskey, I have not forgotten about you...

The food was a good six courses, four of which I could have considered a dessert.  First the popcorn with infused garlic scape butter was the welcome course.  The next course was a spinach salad with feta, candied pecans, strawberries and a sweet lemon cilantro vinaigrette made with the accompanying beer, a golden lager.  This salad was maybe my favorite part of the meal, I wish they would have it on the regular menu.  The fourth course was a chilled cherry soup with creme fraiche and slivered almonds.  Again, very sweet, almost too much so for a 'soup.'  And finally the actual dessert, raspberry cream puffs.  So four of the six courses appealed to my sweet tooth nicely.  The other courses, pepperjack cheese curds and the main course were very good, too.  The main course was bourbon and bbq glazed slow-roasted ribs with Wisconsin street corn and corn muffins with honey butter.  It makes me hungry again just thinking about the meal!

All in all, we had a very good time.  The representative for Capital Brewery was actually one of the local female brewmasters that had been featured last month during Madison's Craft Beer Week.  She discussed some history of the brewery as well as it's expansion, ideas for new beers and how she came up with some of the names. We'd probably rank it as the second best of the four we attended.  We still like the first time best, but maybe because it was the first time - and my wife's birthday.  Again it was a lot of food and we were stuffed when we left.  Not a complaint, mind you.  In fact, there's still some leftover ribs and a corn muffin in the refrigerator that will not see tomorrow!

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