Showing posts with label Brooklyn Brewery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brooklyn Brewery. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The 25 Best American Breweries of the Decade (2000-2009)

Okay, so it's been exactly a month since my last post. For shame! I know!

It pains me that I can count the number of alcoholic beverages I've consumed, in the last month, on one hand. But, alas, in less than a week I'll be home for Thanksgiving. Hopefully I'll have time for a beverage or two, at a restaurant or two.

In order to stop the Femme Fermental drought, I've decided to post on Paste's "25 Best American Breweries of the Decade (2000-2009)"
Uncle Jack may have already said it best: "I never heard of Paste Magazine before this and know little more than what you can find at the publication’s website."

Yeah, we've never heard of Paste Magazine, but we'll read about what they have to say about beer. Here's the list

25. Great Divide Brewing Company
24. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
23. Brooklyn Brewing Company
22. Brewery Ommegang
21. North Coast Brewing Co.
20. Stone Brewing Co.
19. Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
18. New Belgium Brewing Company
17. New Glarus Brewing Company
16. Oskar Blues Brewery
15. Samuel Adams
14. Rogue Ales
13. Decshutes
12. Lagunitas Brewing Company
11. Bell's Brewery
10. The Lost Abbey
9. Weyerbacher
8. Three Floyds
7. Russian River Brewing
6. AleSmith Brewing Company
5. Founder's Brewing Co.
4. Victory Brewing Company
3. Avery Brewing Co.
2. Allagash Brewing
1. Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Paste Magazine doesn't know much about beer. They seem to put up a "list" of some sort everyday. After their beer entry, the next list was "Top 10 Best Fashion Designers of the Decade." I don't know if they are really an authority on anything. It's quite possible they searched the New York Times, found an article revealing the Times' love for Sam Calagione, and decided to put them first on the list. Who knows.

At the very least, they got some things right.

The order? That seems to be a more personal matter.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Suckling Pig at Amada

We all know that I'm a huge fan of Jose Garces. I've blogged about every restaurant he has in Philly, besides Chifa. However, I've never officially written about Amada: the one that started it all.

I've been to Amada countless times since I became a foodie during my last year of college at Penn. It was one of my first mind-blowing food experiences. With Tinto close behind, it's still my favorite Garces place. Everything is impeccable, time after time.

Every time I go to Amada, I look at the menu and see "Whole Roasted Suckling Pig - For 4 or more" $32/Person. I've always wanted to do it, but never had the motivation or foresight to pull it off. As it turns out, Suckling Pig is the perfect event for a going away dinner. My friends Scott and Vicki managed to organize the whole thing, and with the addition of Dr. Joel, the date was set.

Upon arrival, the big question was, "How much more food do we order?" The pig itself comes with four vegetarian sides. After deciding that we were very comfortable having leftovers, we ordered four additional tapas to start.

So now I'll let the pictures begin...

Bread Service: Tuna and Black Olives

Serrano Ham and Fig Salad, Cabrales & Spiced Almonds

Aragones, Garrotxa, Torta del Casar

Grilled Chorizo

Heirloom Tomato, Mezze Sorrel & Mahon Flatbread

Grilled Green Onions, Rosemary White Beans, Garbanzos con Espinacas, Herb Roasted Fingerlings

The Pig!

Table side

Left overs!

Dessert Tasting

The pig itself was so mouth-watering good. It was salty, moist and tender. I want to eat it for days and days. And thanks to the leftovers, I'm going to be able to. The side dishes were also very good. The white beans were a particular hit.

Throughout the meal we all shared a bottle of Brooklyn Local 1 and two bottles of Ommegang Bier de Mars. Both were great food beers; not too much flavor, and certainly not too little flavor.

All in all, I completely recommend the Suckling Pig dinner. It's an incredible deal, a ton of exquisite food, and a really fun dining experience. It was the perfect going away meal...

Thanks to Scott and Vicki, and Dr. Joel. I'm up for a repeat anytime!

Amada Restaurant
217-219 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

From Brooklyn to Barcelona: An Evening of Tapas & Beer with Jose Garces and Garrett Oliver

Yesterday, my day was not over after the Dogfish Lunch at Teresa's. Although, it could have been. My friends and I continued on our day to a beer dinner at Amada with Jose Garces and Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery.

The format of the dinner was pretty awesome. It was 9 people each, at two tables, with one of the hosts at the head of each table. Half way through the meal, Jose and Garrett switched tables so we could talk to both of them. I've met Garrett before; about two years ago I attended a Tria Fermentation School class on beer and cheese pairings. And, we all know I'm a huge fan of Jose.

Peruvian Ceviche: Corvina, Rocoto Emulsion, Pickled Pearl Onions
Brooklyner Schneider Hopfen Weisse

Jose's ceviches are always on point. They are perfectly balanced and acidic, and the fish is always wonderful tasting. As far as the beer goes, it was a one year old bottle of a collaboration beer between Schneider and Brooklyn. A year ago I wasn't a huge fan of the beer. However, after a year of bottle aging, the hops had mellowed nicely and it showed as a perfect food beer.

Almejas con Jamon Iberico: Clams, Grilled Toast, Mache Salad
Brooklyn Local 1

This dish was also very nice. The sauce itself ended up being a Brooklyn Local 1, Jamon and butter sauce. I had a few sandy clams, but on the whole, the flavors were there. The Brooklyn Local 1, a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, pairs very nicely with food, generally speaking. It doesn't overpower and provides a nice cleansing, refreshing effect.

Pato Verde: Duck Confit, Beer Rice, Fava Beans
Brooklyn Local 2

This dish was the highlight of the dinner. The duck, as you can see, was cooked to perfection. The beer rice, cooked with Brooklyn Local 2, cilantro, and probably some tomatillos, was incredible; the flavors were so developed and rich.

The beer, a just-released Belgian-inspired strong dark ale, was very tasty. I've heard some mixed reviews this week about the beer, but I personally enjoyed it. The Belgian dark candi sugar component is very prominent and it's full of dark fruit flavors. If I were to blind taste it, I would place it somewhere between a double and quad. At 9% ABV it's not quite a quad, but the flavor components are similar to a quad.

Butifarra: House-made Garlic Sausage, Bacon Braised Escarole, Mustard Emulsion
Brooklyn Dark Matter

Moving to a Catalonia dish, this house-made sausage, produced over at Tinto (as Jose said: the guys at Tinto do all the charcuterie), was incredible. It was so flavorful, fennel and garlic were most prominent. The mustard emulsion was a nice addition and who doesn't love bacon added to their bitter greens?

The beer itself, as Garrett said: "Doesn't exist, and you never had it." Well, I'm still going to write about it because it was pretty cool. For Brooklyn's venture into barrel aging (Black Ops), they acquired 9 Woodford Reserve barrels and ended up only needing 6 of them. So, they took Brooklyn Brown Ale and aged it for 9 months in the bourbon barrels. Brewed in July 2007, and refermented in the bottle, this beer is about 1 year 8 months old. The bourbon was very prominent, both on the nose and on the palate. It seemed a rather successful venture. This leads me to believe that a barrel aged series might be in the works.

Hazelnut Mocha: Semi-sweet Chocolate Creameaux, Espresso Granita, Hazelnut Nougatine, Sweet Cream Ice Cream
Brooklyn Black Ops

I'm a big sweets girl, so this dessert was awesome. The hazelnut nougatine might have been the best dessert component (my hopperdoodle aside), that I've had in a while. The espresso granita was somewhat lost in the mocha creameux, but it was still a wholly delicious dessert.

The beer, a new and hard to find release (940 cases released), is a Russian Imperial Stout aged in Woodford Reserve barrels for about 4 months. It was similar to the Dark Matter, however it was stronger in alcohol. Again, the bourbon was very prominent, and more so than in the Dark Matter. This is likely because Black Ops is much younger; it was only brewed in June.

Overall, this dinner was very, very cool. I actually was able to talk to Jose Garces! Yup, the foodie in me is giddy! Having met Garrett before, I was really excited to meet Jose. I adore his food, as you may have gathered, and he was a genuinely nice guy. Amada holds a special place in my foodie heart; it was the first chef's tasting menu I ever had. I have to especially thank Amada for hosting the dinner.

After two 5 course meals in one day, I was certainly ready for bed...and yet, ready for beer week to continue...