Beer geeks are agog. First Dogfish Ale debuts, and then Garrett Oliver comes to town. This is the man who penned the pairing bible The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food and is considered a preeminent brewmaster. He'll be appearing at the Brooklyn Brewery dinner at Chai's on Tuesday. "As big a rock star in the craft beer world as you can get," says Brandon Plyler over at the Charleston Beer Exchange (CBX). Read Ballard Lesemann's interview with him here.
It didn't take long for the CBX guys to invite him into their beer mecca for an afternoon session. He'll be at the shop on Exchange Street from 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday to sign copies of his book (they'll have some on hand) and to release the latest Brewmaster's Reserve, the Manhattan Project. Buy a growler of it and he'll sign it for you. Manhattan Project is a limited release robust rye beer that's been aged in whiskey barrels and infused with herbs and spices, red vermouth, bitters, and tart cherry. Sounds unique.
To celebrate the kick-off of Dogfish, CBX had a huge event with a representative from the brewery on Tuesday tapping kegs of the brews on the growler station — 90 Minute IPA, Palo Santo Marron, Midas Touch, and Pangaea. So, if you haven't sampled anything from this cult brewery yet, you can get some to go.
And if that's not enough, a slew of beer dinners are on the docket for the upcoming weeks. Must be the season. As we all know, cool weather goes great with hearty ales.
Carolina's monthly beer dinner will celebrate Oktoberfest on Wed. Oct. 28, and the focus will be the German Ayinger Brewer. "Everything they do is world class," says Plyler at the CBX, which coincidentally will be hosting Adam Avery of Avery Brewing Company earlier that day. He'll be unveiling some extra special beers.UPDATE: Also on Oct. 28, Mellow Mushroom downtown will be hosting Adam Avery for a five-course beer tasting at which Avery will discuss the Boulder, Colo., brewery's beers.
The following week, local brewery Coast will collaborate with Foothills Brewing out of Winston-Salem for a dinner at Shine on Tues. Nov. 3.
And Mellow Mushroom in Mt. Pleasant plans to focus on Abita Brewery for its Nov. 4 beer dinner, which costs $30 and starts at 7 p.m.
One upcoming dinner that made us take notice is the "Breakfast Beer Dinner" at Hominy Grill on Nov. 15. Plyler says it's been one of the most challenging menus to work with. Chef Robert Stehling will prepare breakfast for dinner, making stuff like bacon-wrapped oyster-stuffed French toast. Beers that will be featured include Orchard White, which is a Belgian white spiced with chamomile and lavender. Stehling is a regular at the CBX, as all the cool chefs are, and was spitballing some ideas with the guys when they hit on making breakfast for dinner.
That night, coincidentally, will also mark the one year anniversary of the Beer Exchange.
It's been a hell of a year for beer in this town, that's for sure.