Belgian beers are undoubtedly the most respected artisanal beers in terms of styles, with the many thousands of individual beers each carrying their own methods of productions! I can totally imagine quite a few American micro-brewers to protest against this foregone conclusion! In all fairness this is how the world usually operates. Being competitive in spirits is second human nature and it makes the world improve and all the more cooler… and right now in the current epoch of our times, Belgian beers still stand at the utmost peak of the trend and remain at the forefront of its game. This might not last long either, as imitators or pioneers will try at their hardest to catch up with this definitive trendsetter. This Belgian beer event was interesting at Happy Valley, since it was making a serious attempt to promote Belgian Beer pairings with Western and Chinese food, and 2ndly trying to convey across the message that cooking with beers is going to be the next world wide trend. I happen to concur with this on several fronts, as my previous perfect Beer Pairing and offal dinner at Josie Bones (Melbourne) was nothing short of spectacular and some dishes were infused with the said beers, and as a foodie I certainly will hope that this movement can carry forward its momentum wherever it is situated.. Brewmaster George Reisch arrived from overseas and is going to give us a lecture on his view on food vs beer on this day.
Each girl representing their own brand -
I don’t know if you would agree , but the girl on the right hand side had the most natural and unpretentious smile. Ashamed to say it , but it is just totally my style ..!
Cheese Biscuits with Crunchy Beer Straws and Leffe Blonde Mayonnaise -
The beer straws were very good and much like grissini. The caperberry added some sourness to the overall balance. The leffe blonde mayo was not so apparent in taste, it was nevertheless an interesting concept. ~ 8/10
Hoegaarden and Fennel Baked Sea Bass with Breaded Clams -
The fresh Sea Bass was cooked together with Hoegaarden beer and fennel, and the large bread crumbed clam was baked with a herbs finish. This was more or less an expected dish, but what won me over was the perfect execution and the slightly beer like influence and the fish was perfect. Wouldn’t say this was impressive in recipe but it was definitely cooked very well! ~ 7/10
Stella Artois -
Draught Beer. Nothing special at all by default. Yet it did spring a surprise indeed. Quite a bit enlightened by the experience, and it shows preconceptions are totally just that. We always learn something new next..
Stella Artois Marinated Rib Eye Steak -
There wasn’t much Stella Artois taste, but what I have learned today is that the beer worked so well with this beef dish when I had always thought to be a 2nd rate beer from Belgium. It just worked brilliantly, and to this day I am still baffled by it. Stella obviously works with meaty red meat steaks, no arguments about that. ~ 8/10
Leffe Brune Chocolate Mousse -
Served with the heavier Leffer Brune beer which nearly stout like, this was quite rich and unexpectedly also worked as a food pairing. It was a match in marriage and I am sure they have already done some pre-tastings to ensure that it will work as an overall package. Kudos to the tasters coming up with the idea. ~ 8/10
English Tea -
To end the course.
The whole event was trying to teach us that beers and food work together like a pair of fitting gloves. I already kind of knew it will work due to prior experiences with similar Beer and Food courses, but this is the first time we have experienced it locally. Hopefully much like Sake to Japanese Food or Wine to French or Italian food, some restaurants in town will start to do more Beer and Food pairing. Especially with Dude’s Food stuff which is becoming a big thing, I hope!
Price: Organised and Invited Event
Ease of Access: 3/5 (Near the Happy Valley racecourse. if you’re a permanent Horse gambler)
Food: ♕♕♕♕ 1/2 Interesting to see the versatility of using Beers as an alternative to wine and food pairing, and also using it to cook the dishes themselves.