When I first heard that HōM was hosting a beer dinner, my immediate thought was — burgers and beer? Not very original, but also not a bad thing because HōM’s burgers are incredible. But once I saw the menu, I was intrigued since there wasn't a burger in sight.
HōM teamed up with Holy City Brewing to put together a menu that consisted of anything but burgers. Chef Shay MacDonald spent quite a bit of time sampling various Holy City brews in order to spark some creativity, which helped him come up with a one-of-a-kind menu.
Last Wednesday night, guests arrived for a reception that featured three Holy City Beers on tap for sampling: Holy City Slam American Pale Ale (5% ABV), Smoked Märzen (6.3% ABV), andSir Pantaloons Belgian Dubbel (6% ABV). The Smoked Märzen is seasonal, but the Slam (Brewed for the Family Circle Cup) and Sir Pantaloons are both one-off beers, so it was a treat to try them. The best part of the reception was the ultra-laid-back atmosphere. The three brews were self-serve so guests could drink what they wanted, at their own pace, while mingling.
Dinner started promptly at 7 p.m. when Holy City’s Chris Brown introduced the first-course beer: Lowcountry Dark Ale (6.2% ABV), a black, roasty IPA, with nice hop character without being too overpowering. Aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels, the LDA was paired with ancho-cocoa seared lamb loin carpaccio, bing cherry, frisée, and vanilla onion relish, which was a dish of beauty. The presentation was spectacular and the sweet cherries, bitter greens, and vanilla from the onions created a very pleasing flavor alongside the thin pieces of lamb. The caramel malts and lingering chocolaty notes of the beer accented the sweet spots of the dish in an appropriate manner.
The second course consisted of pork tenderloin medallions on a bed of roasted garlic and blue cheese potato puree, buttered popcorn, powdered with a mixture of butter and oil, mimicking additional pieces of popcorn. With so much butter, the dish paired perfectly with the crisp, slightly hoppy, Holy City Pilsner (5 % ABV). Best pairing of the night.
Up next was a very colorful dish of seared scallop, banana guacamole, and strawberry salsa paired with Laser Pants Belgian Strong Pale Ale (8.3% ABV), a beer that made its debut at Brewvival. We were lucky to get to experience it again at HoM. The presentation may have not been as appealing as the first two dishes, but the slight fruit character of the beer worked well with the bananas and strawberries. A bit sweet, but creative and good nonetheless.
On the initial menu, the fourth course listed a spring salad paired with Spring Cleaning IPA (6.5% ABV). A spring salad late in the dinner seemed a bit odd, but out came a soft poached egg and arugula swimming in a bowl of beer broth with a touch of a mystery green aioli, which was similar to a chimichurri. It all made sense once I cracked the egg open and let the yolk ooze into the broth. The bitterness of the arugula alongside the creamy egg yolk infused the broth, and the fresh green aioli brought out a lot of unexpected flavors in both the dish and the beer. The broth was so good that some of us at the table wished we had a spoon as we resorted to drinking out of the bowl. If this “salad” were on the HoM menu, I’d order it all the time. Spectacular.
I didn’t think the soupy salad could be topped, but the next course — a Neuskies crème brûlée with smoked salt, frisee, bacon, and truffle vinaigrette — scored high too. Crème brûlée and bacon are two of my favorite things. The frisée was confusing, but it worked. The smokiness of the bacon couldn’t have gone any better than with the bacon infused Notorious P.I.G (6.5% ABV). The pairing was the ultimate combo of salty and sweet.
Last but not least was a dish of figs, ice cream, tootsie roll, and beer foam, which was paired with the big New Year’s Resolution Doppelbock (10% ABV). The deep raisin flavors of the beer complemented the figs and ice cream well, but it was hard to follow the ridiculous bacon crème brûlée.
Overall, the dishes were creative and delicious, showcasing what MacDonald is capable of. Each course came out in a timely manner without any lag, which was especially satisfying considering it was HōM’s first beer dinner. I tip my hat to MacDonald, Holy City, and the amazing HōM staff and leave only one question: Can we please do this again?
On Wednesday, March 28th HoM will be hosting their first beer dinner with help from the guys over at Holy City Brewing. The event will kick off with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by a six-course dinner. Although HoM is known for their crafty burgers, Chef Shay MacDonald plans to show off his talent by going outside the bun. Check out the menu below. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased at HoM or Holy City.
Ancho-Cocoa Seared Lamb Loin Carpaccio
Bing cherry, Frissee, Vanilla Onion Relish
Lowcountry Dark Ale (6.2% ABV)
Pork Tenderloin, Roasted Garlic and
Blue cheese Potato Puree
Holy City Pilsner (5% ABV)
Laser Pants (8.3% ABV)
Farmer’s Market Spring Salad
Spring Cleaning IPA (6.5% ABV)
Neuskies Crème Brulee, Smoked Salt
Frissee, bacon, Truffle Vinaigrette
The Notorious P.I.G. (6.5% ABV)
Plums, Fig Jam, Tootsie Roll
New Year's Resolution Doppelbock (10% ABV)
A big event is brewing out in Mt. Pleasant. 17 North will be hosting the inaugural Lowcountry Beer Festival on Sunday, April 1, 2012 from 12pm until 6pm.
The fest will showcase several local breweries and businesses including Westbrook, Holy City, Palmetto, Frothy Beard, New South, Heirloom, Eat This!, Event DRS, Ice Box, Boone Hall Farms, Grow Food Carolina, Awendaw Green, and House of Brews.
Prices for admittance will be $20 for a beer pass to get you eight 5-ounce samplings of local brewery offerings and a souvenir glass. $10 for one pass through the buffet, if you buy tickets early, you will get both passes for $25. There will be satellite parking at Roper St. Francis Mt. Pleasant hospital with shuttles to the event.
A portion of the proceeds and all money raised at the dunk tank will go to East Cooper Community Outreach (E.C.C.O.) and Pet Helpers. Donations will also be accepted.
Live entertainment will be take place on two stages from a number of local musicians, and there will be lots of laughs coming from the dunk tank full of beer!
In addition local home brewers will have the opportunity to showcase their home brews and get feedback from the locals and local breweries. If you brew at home and are interested in participating, please e-mail email@example.com.
The main dining room on the second floor of 82 Queen was as packed as it’s ever been on Friday night, so says Stephen Kish, owner of the historical restaurant downtown. The restaurant hosted a sold-out craft beer dinner with superb food prepared by Chef Steven Lusby and beer parings courtesy of Widmer Brothers Brewing.
The décor in the room was definitely focused on beer. Even the nametag holders were creatively constructed with bottle caps.
The dinner started with an opening beer as people filed into their seats (I chose the easy-drinking hefeweizen). Five courses came out promptly with an elegant presentation.
All of the pairings seemed to work well except for the seared scallop and the Drifter Pale Ale. The dish alone was one of the top two of the night, but the hoppiness of the beer overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the dish. Either way, the dish was still a winner.
The standout of the night was the apple-smoked venison short ribs with a sweet, BBQ-like blackberry-ancho sauce that came with a acorn squash gratin and Brussels sprouts. This was originally paired with the Pitch Black IPA, as per the menu, but a wise decision was made to serve this with the Barrel Aged Brrrbon, which was such a wonderful combination.
Bon Dodler, the brewer, was on hand to talk about the various beers and answer questions, and a special guest was present. Daniel Bradford, publisher of All About Beer Magazine, played a key role in helping organize the Great American Beer Festival in the ’80s. This guy knows beer.
I left the event satisfied and with a final thought — Chef Steven Lusby can really cook. He’s been flying under the radar the past couple years, but his food speaks for itself and he definitely deserves some attention. Job well done.
Blackbeerd Russian Imperial Stout (9.3% ABV), COAST Brewing Company's winter seasonal, has become one of their most sought-after specialty beers.
On Saturday, Jan. 21 at 5 p.m., House of Brews in Mt. Pleasant will be tapping a rare 9-gallon cask of the 2012 Blackbeerd.
A cask-conditioned beer is unfiltered, unpasteurized, and naturally carbonated. No nitrogen or CO2 is added. What’s even more important is that this particular beer will be dry-hopped using Simcoe hops, adding a layer of complexity to the bouquet.
Hops are an essential ingredient in every beer recipe, adding flavor, bitterness, and aroma. Generally, they are added during the boiling process, which helps release essential oils. Dry-hopping is when they add more hops late in the fermentation cycle. Despite hops' bitter reputation, this process does not add much bitterness to a beer, if any at all. Dry-hopping adds some additional flavor, but mostly enhances the aroma of the beer.
And if a rare cask of Blackbeerd isn’t enough reason to head over to the House of Brews, live music will be provided by 17 South and Roti Rolls will be setting up shop in the lot for those that want to make this a foodie affair.
House of Brews is located at 1537-C Ben Sawyer Blvd on the way to Sullivan’s Island in Mt. Pleasant. Parking is limited so it would be a good idea to car pool. Visit houseofbrewsmtp.com or find them on Facebook for information on upcoming events.