August 20, 2014

The Mad Brewers Beer Degustation

Jesus Juice: The Mad Brewers Beer Degustation. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

I recently had the pleasure of organising and attending one of the most delicious craft beer dinners, The Mad Brewers Beer Degustation. I’ve ever experienced. Cheffie, Daren Tetley the Press Clubs Head Chef (Cheffu) & Chef de Partie (Forrest) and I spent a solid month sampling brews; Cider, Pilsner, Porter, Amber Ale, Pale Ale, Dark Ale & Wheat Beer! I know right… I’ve got myself one seriously tough job! #bestjobever

Jesus Juice: The Mad Brewers Beer Degustation. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

Each sip of the bubbly goodness was an adventure as Cheffu & Forrest bounced ideas around about how they would match the key characteristics of the beers i.e. Chili Chocolate Stout – chocolate sauce, the contrasting flavours i.e. Oysters with lime gel – India Pale Ale, and how the texture of the beers would work with food i.e. Tart tartin – Amber Ale. There really is an art to this, and boy did they nail it. After much deliberation we narrowed it down to 2 beers from each of the 3 breweries in Canberra; Bentspoke, Wig & Pen & Zeirholz.

The Main Event
Introductions were given by Cheffu, the beer brewing heavy-hitters and a special guest appearance by Master Brewer Chuck Hahn.

Jesus Juice: The Mad Brewers Beer Degustation. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

The chefs plated up the first couple of courses centre stage and over 800 beers were poured. The ultimate dinner and a show event!

Jesus Juice: The Mad Brewers Beer Degustation. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

Canapés
Coffin Bay oysters, lime gel, Gulf of Carpentaria king prawns, Mary Rose sauce
Beer Match: Crankshaft IPA BentSpoke Brewery

Jesus Juice: The Mad Brewers Beer Degustation. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

Amuse Bouche
Desert dusted quail breast, warm pear and pecan Waldorf
Beer Match: Dick Tracy Brown Ale BentSpoke Brewery

Jesus Juice: The Mad Brewers Beer Degustation. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

3rd Course
Seared Hervey Bay scallops, cauliflower puree, crispy Jamon Iberico, fermented black garlic beurre blanc
Beer Match: Bro Humus Belgian Golden Ale Zierholz Brewery

Jesus Juice: The Mad Brewers Beer Degustation. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

4th Course
Coffee and Mount Majura toasted Mandagery Creek venison saddle, malted pomme fondant, Cumberland and P125 Valrhona chocolate jus
Beer Match: Machu Pichocolate Wig and Pen Brewery

Jesus Juice: The Mad Brewers Beer Degustation. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

Dessert
Salted green apple and rosemary tart tatin, Amaretto butterscotch
Beer Match: Amber Ale Zierholz Brewery

Jesus Juice: The Mad Brewers Beer Degustation. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

Fromage
Sartori Bellavitano Espresso cheddar, spiced cherry and citrus jam, sea salt baccos and lavoche
Beer Match: Duckmaloi Irish Red Ale Wig and Pen Brewery

This dinner was ALL rainbows and unicorns for me! Loads of laughs with great mates, the food served was pure brilliance and the beers shining examples of style and grace, art in a glass. Another successful event under the belt! #boom

Jesus Juice: The Mad Brewers Beer Degustation. Recipes, reminiscences and reviews compiled by Australian award-winning writer, chef and globetrotter, Anna Johnston. www.shenannagans.com

So tell me dear reader, what’s your go to brew? And do you enjoy food matched with beer?

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Anna

shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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Sriprae - September 5, 2014 Reply

Oh stop! Oh my gosh, the food! Rainbows and unicorns indeed!!!! (Love that phrase! Going to have to inject that into Texas dialogue).

Your life is like my culinary fairytale. LOL! 🙂

I admire chefs who can pair food with wine and beer like that. That’s some amazing palette.

I don’t dabble in beer that much. This summer my friend introduced me to Corona with lime for those fire-y hot, Texas days. I’ve had Singha and Stella Artois…and that’s the extent of my beer tasting repertoire.

You know…October is around the corner. I’m sure there’s a local Oktoberfest nearby that I can dive a little deeper into this world that you paint with such beauty and enjoyment. 😉

    Anna - September 6, 2014 Reply

    Hahaha! Can you film yourself using the phrase…. please. LOL!
    Yes, the chefs I work with are some of the most talented people I have ever met. Just incredible.
    Ohhhhhh, love me a Corona with lime, very refreshing and Stella & Singha are classics too. For the limited beer drinking you do, you have fabulous taste.
    Coooooool. I am getting myself sorted for an epic Oktoberfest too. Such a fun way to immerse yourself into the beer drinking world.

Sanj - August 25, 2014 Reply

Looks like heaps of fun Anna..hic!!

Sophie - August 25, 2014 Reply

yummmm, the food combined with the beers must have been pretty tasty too.

in Belgium, in the fancy restaurants like Michelin star one’s you see that more & more,..I think that is a great idea, because Belgium is thé beer drinking country! Xx

    Anna - August 25, 2014 Reply

    So dang tasty Sophie! 🙂
    Oh what an amazing experience to dine on a beer degustion dinner in a Michelin star restaurant in Belgium, that is right up top of my foodie bucket list.

Dedy@Dentist Chef - August 24, 2014 Reply

looks like a fun tasting!!!
well, i only taking beer if i had a bbq pork or beef before, never had anything instead,
the valrhona chocolate jus is really sounds delicious, that is litterray my next project…

    Anna - August 25, 2014 Reply

    It was amazing Dedy!!! Soooooo spoilt. 🙂
    Yeah, you should totally make the chocolate sauce, looking forward to seeing what you pair it with.

Agness - August 24, 2014 Reply

I just came back from wine degustation in Lisbon. I had as much fun as you did with the beer :).

    Anna - August 25, 2014 Reply

    Fuuuunnnnn Agness! And in Lisbon too. 🙂
    Beer/Wine Degustation dinners are amazingly fun. Looking forward to hearing about your dinner.

cityhippyfarmgirl - August 24, 2014 Reply

I think possibly you do have the best job in the world Anna. That’s so cool and I don’t even *ahem* like beer (sorry lady :-))

    Anna - August 25, 2014 Reply

    Teehee… I really do have a brilliant job huh?! 🙂
    Whaaat? You don’t like beer… I’m just… Whaaatt?! Mind blown. LOL!

Alyssa @ My Sequined Life - August 24, 2014 Reply

#bestjobever for SURE! Gahh this looks like an amazing event, Anna! I tend to go for IPAs, though in the warmer months I like to sip on something lighter like a pale ale or a hefeweizen. I’ve never had an ‘official’ pairing of beer and food though…I’d be curious to taste how well the pair with one another! It looks like you planned and enjoyed a fabulous event!

    Anna - August 25, 2014 Reply

    It was awesome Alyssa, had an absolute ball. And with you on the IPAs, the Pale Ale and … wait, I like all beers. LOL.
    Twas a party in the mouth for sure, a lot different than wine too.
    Wishing you a wonderful week. xox

Elizabeth - August 23, 2014 Reply

I love a good degustation menu… and beer matching, tick, tick 🙂 looks like a fantastic night! Liz x

Allison - August 22, 2014 Reply

Oh my goodness! Chili chocolate beer? Holy moly!!! My guy is really into craft beers, but I don’t really know much about them. I think I can get behind these though! What a fantastic experience and fun time! Jealous!

    Anna - August 23, 2014 Reply

    The chilli chocolate beer was my fave Allison, it was absolutely delicious, left a tingly feeling at the back of your throat, but was so smooth and creamy too. Strange to think of beers like that. 🙂
    Feeling very special being able to be a part of such a wonderful experience.

Erin | The Law Student's Wife - August 22, 2014 Reply

BEST NIGHT EVER. Seriously! I love learning about different beers, and the pairing with foods just makes things even better.

    Anna - August 22, 2014 Reply

    Yeah!!! It totally was Erin. I think it was right up there with one of the BEST events I have ever attended. I loved experiencing the food and beer party in the mouth. 🙂 #best

Kris Johnston - August 22, 2014 Reply

I’m finding it hard not to swear here… I am SUPER sad that I missed this event.
The food and beer looked the goods. I have always wanted to try a dega matched with beers.
I believe that it was nailed. Well done.

By far the best picture there is the end result of the night. Table filled with glasses. You just know it would of been banging good time.

I say it every week. But thank you for sharing with us. LoVe.

    Anna - August 22, 2014 Reply

    Hahaha! Yep Nizz, it was one hell of a night. You missed this one, but there will be another, so not to worry! 🙂
    The food was phenominal, and it was amazing to experience the beers and food together. Very special.
    Yes, our table was the prettiest at the end of the night, also the loudest. LOL.
    Giant LoVe back at chya. xox

Krista - August 22, 2014 Reply

What a delicious and fun time. 🙂 It all looks so scrumptious and such fab accompaniments to that frothy beer. 🙂 (And you’re cute as all get out!)

    Anna - August 22, 2014 Reply

    Sooooooo good. The boys in the kitchen are one talented bunch. Such a delicious feed & well the brews… Yep… Toe tapping GOOD! 🙂

Choc Chip Uru - August 22, 2014 Reply

I love me some delicious beer, this sounds like an amazing event to attend 😀
Good food, amazing people and fabulous beer!

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

    Anna - August 22, 2014 Reply

    Oh it was CCU, one of the best I’ve ever attended. I’m very lucky to work with such a fabulous team and have such wicked cool friends. Great night. 🙂

Nathan - August 21, 2014 Reply

That was the most fun on the beers I’ve had in a long time 🙂 so many flavours! Thanks Anna!

    Anna - August 21, 2014 Reply

    It really was huh Nathan?! Soooo many laughs, and Im super grateful I got to share it with you guys. 🙂
    You really are very welcome, it was my pleasure.
    Bring on Guinness day!!! 🙂

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - August 21, 2014 Reply

I’m not much of a beer drinker I must admit! But rainbows and unicorns and good food I am a big fan of! 😛

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - August 21, 2014 Reply

Wow, what a lot of beer! We did something similar a few weeks ago – lots of good food with great beer made at our local brewery. I love mussels with beer as my go to meal, and a good stout for baking 🙂

    Anna - August 21, 2014 Reply

    It was a huge amount of beer Tandy, heavenly right! 🙂
    Oh yes, I love the mussels / beer combo. Its delicious. Bring on Summer, its a go too during the warmer months.
    Hmmm… Good call re the stout for baking. Gonna get on that.

Hotly Spiced - August 21, 2014 Reply

It does look like a fantastic event, Anna, and I love your dress! The food looks amazing especially that quail breast. What a lot of fun everyone must have had. I always love these kinds of events where you get to have wine or beer matchings and tastings – so social! xx

    Anna - August 21, 2014 Reply

    It was such a fun night Charlie, and thank you, it was fun to frock up and be completly spoilt with all the delicious offerings. 🙂

Alice - August 21, 2014 Reply

The only thing better than good food, is the best of beverages to match it. The Beer is the true hero here in this amazing degustation and if I had to take one great thing away from this post, it’s that I get to hopefully enjoy one next year!!! x

    Anna - August 21, 2014 Reply

    YES ~ Yes ~ YES!!! I am so excited about having you here in the Berra, and you my friend will be top of the list to come to amazing events like the beer deg. #boom 🙂
    Alice, it was really amazing the way the food changed the taste of the beers, they made my not so fave brews taste fabulous.
    Hope you are well lovely one. Hugs. xox

Courtnee - August 21, 2014 Reply

I am currently loving the Pikes Pilsner which is on tap at Hopscotch. I have been there three times in the last week and a half for a tipple of it. The endeavour amber ale is also damn good.

Great write up Anna, your team did such a great job organising, planning, matching, serving and hosting. It was a pleasure to enjoy it with you! People have been asking me about it- created a lot of interest – next year will be huge! (Any chance we can do it bi annually?)

How spesh do I feel having my picture on your blog? VERY!

    Anna - August 21, 2014 Reply

    Yeasss…. Endeavour Amber Ale is the business. I won some a few years back…. Gahhhh, so good!
    Thanks lovely one, couldnt agree more… I had an absolute ball, was fun to have a good laugh too. Nice one re the interest, reckon next year will be hit too.
    Haha! How spesh do I feel having a picture with you? VERY!

My Inner Chick - August 21, 2014 Reply

How fun.
How Delish!
I don’t drink beer, but love good food w/ good wine!
Great Photos.
I sent your card yesterday. Expect some glitter. xx

    Anna - August 21, 2014 Reply

    It was a fabulous night! 🙂
    Boom Diggity… Thats so exciting Kim, cant wait to get my glitter loaded card.
    Hugs from Oz. xo

Susan - August 20, 2014 Reply

What a great night we had shenANNAgans, thank you for inviting us. I’ve never been to a beer deg before & I’ve decided I now love craft beer. The food was amazing & what about that Machu Pichocolate beer huh?!

    Anna - August 20, 2014 Reply

    Oh it was such an amazing night, and you are most welcome! Good to hear you enjoyed the event. 🙂
    Yep, hands down Machu Pichocolate was the beer of the night. Soooooo good!

Lizzy (Good Things) - August 20, 2014 Reply

Yummy! What a fabulous event! The only time I ever tried beers with food was when Carol Selva Raja came to my cooking school years ago…. my favourite brew? Hmmmm, not sure. I don’t drink a lot of beer to be honest… love some ciders, but they must be good… oh and I am really loving Sailor Jerry at the moment! Cin cin.

    Anna - August 20, 2014 Reply

    Oh it was Liz, I think one of the top events I’ve ever been too. 🙂
    What an awesome experience with the cooking school. And yes, cider seems to be rather popular. Not a fan myself.
    So Sailor Jerry is a rum right, and you mix it with ginger beer?! Sounds interesting.
    Cheers to you too lovely Liz! xox

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