This past Monday we had the task of attending Union Bear’s first brew dinner and it was a raging success. The dinner was well attended for a Monday evening and it kicked off Craft Beer Week in style. In attendance was Saint Arnold’s Brewmaster Brock Wagner.
Saint Arnold is the wildly popular brewery located in Houston, Texas and home to the ever popular Lawnmower which was the beginning of the breweries Movable Yeast series, which is a play on the semi-autobiographical novel by Hemmingway’s Movable Feast.
“The purpose of this series is to educate beer drinkers on the flavor contribution of yeast. People spend a lot of time talking about malt and hops, but I think people have only a vague concept that yeast are flavor contributors. So what we are doing is taking one of our existing beers, keeping everything the same but the yeast and giving it a new name. Saint Arnold Weedwacker is Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower Beer wort pitched with Bavarian Hefeweizen yeast. The result is pretty striking. We are hoping that people will sample the beers side-by-side to really see the difference,” said Wagner at the dinner.
And we did. Along with a handful of other beers that paired oh so well with the cuisine that chef John Kleifgen had prepared for us that evening.
Saint Arnold insisted on sitting down with the chef along with Union Bear’s beer gurus Rob Albright and Jeff Fryman, and sampled the menu before pairing the beer. This method has actually prevented disasters in the past. If the pairings are not up to par with the food, guests might be inclined to think that the beer wasn’t pulling its weight.
Saint Arnold is the oldest craft brewery operating in Texas. They were trailblazers in the movement we are witnessing in North Texas today.
Note there wil be plenty more of these dinners coming up in the near future and we will announce them in time for you to grab a spot. Here are the dishes we sampled along with their pairings.
Oysters on the Half Shell with farmer brown Mignonette paired with Chardonnay Barrel-Aged Farmer Brown Cask
Seared Scallops with meon Consomme and Creminelli Coppa paired with Fancy Lawnmower and Weedwacker
Barolo Pizza – Drunken Salami, Roasted Onions and peppers, Black Olives and Rosemary paired with Spring Bock
Steak and Frites paired with Amber Ale
Lemon Raspberry Thyme Sherbert paired with Elissa IPA