Below is the menu from the evening. Initially I was a little nervous as I had only briefly sat with the chef Brad Kneale and talked through the beers and shared some ideas about flavours and potential matches. This was back in March right before the Great Kiwi Beer Festival.
Since then Brad had worked through a difficult range of beers. Difficult in the way that they offer much bitterness and hop flavour which were a challenge to find a good match for.
Before the evening started I was given a run sheet, with notes about the dishes, some including notes about certain matches that had failed. While this a bit of a worry it inspired some confidence as he had actually tried the beers with the food.
Salmon smoked in hops, fennel, saffron aioli
Pulled pork slider, corn avocado and Culley’s Carolina Reaper hot sauce salsa
Beef fillet, crispy shallots, coriander, tamarind caramel
Lamp rump, baby carrots, pistachio’s, feta and harissa
Coffee & Fig Stout
Profiteroles, chocolate stout sauce, ice cream
Evandale smoked brie, whitestone blue, citrus grape marmalade
- Hop Zombie was a big call to start the night but it wowed the crowd, along with the smoked salmon
The spiciness of the slider, the tasty pork and the sweetness of the bun, brought out the maltiness of the Amber Ale that is Carolina.
The beef tamed the roasty notes of the Black IPA, and let the hop aromas and flavours shine.
Lamb rump with harissa, so perfectly matched the aggressive spicy notes of the hops in Armageddon. This was my favourite match of the night, and an all time favourite beer and food match
Coffee & Fig impressed just by itself but when matched with the chocolate sauce it took it to another level. But the surprise was putting a little Hot Zombie hopped hot sauce with the chocolate stout sauce was, scary but incredible.
Lager was an odd finish but I always like a challenge, and if it isn’t a little scary then you aren’t pushing the boundaries hard enough. It worked well with the smoked brie and marmalade, but the blue went best with the Coffee & Fig for those who still had a little left in their glass.
Brad was the star of the evening (even though he only appeared from the kitchen for a couple of minutes to the biggest cheer he has probably had in a long time for his food) he totally deserved the praise. There was obviously a great deal of thought that had gone into the beer and food matches. Compared to other beer dinners I have done and attended around the world, this was world-class and on par with some of the best I have been to.
This event continues to show the high calibre of Pomeroy’s beer and food, and as one of the leading craft beer venues in the country.
This morning while sitting at the CHC airport I was reading this article and come across a new fun fact I did not know about beer – beer is 80 to 90 per cent malt. It does make me question how much water is used?