As avid readers of the Mutineer blog, you all should know of the greatness currently going on that is Seattle Beer Week (American Craft Beer week started today as well). I was lucky enough to be in Seattle to catch the very beginning of #SBW2010 and I had the pleasure of attending a few events, one of them being the Firestone Walker Brewer’s Dinner at Collins Pub. It was originally planned to be hosted by Firestone Walker’s Brewmaster extraordinaire Matt Brynildson but for one reason or another it ended up being hosted by Firestone Walker Proprietor David Walker, which was a real treat as well. David was very friendly and outgoing as he talked about each beer and the story behind it and in between courses he made his way around the intimate dinner of 50 or so people and talked with everyone. Pretty cool. He wasn’t shy either with bringing out some insane beers that I can’t believe I had a chance to try. The food deserves mention as well as it was delicious and incredibly fresh coming from right down the street from Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market. Amazingly fresh local produce, the freshest seafood and beef, and all paired with out of this world beer. If you have the chance to attend one of their beer dinners in the future, I suggest you do your best to make it. In the meantime, here is the menu with some pictures of the one I experienced.
The best pairing, in my opinion, went to the first course. The mild flavor and sweetness of crawfish, combined with the orange sections and the orange creme fraiche dressing paired amazingly with the Solace, which had a lot of notes of tangerines on its own. The salad was so light and refreshing, Solace really complimented it well.
My most anticipated beer was Abacus. I was super excited to try Parabola, but I wasn’t in too big of a rush as I had a few bottles sitting in my car and not knowing if and when Abacus would be released (next in the Proprietors Reserve Series perhaps?), it was top on my list .. and it didn’t disappoint.
The most surprising beer for me was Cask Union Jack. This was phenomenal. At only 5 days old, I have never had an IPA this fresh and the citrus, grapefruit, and pineapple notes on this were insane.
Parabola, of course, was huge. Pretty dry, not the sweet stout a lot of people have been brewing lately and accompanied by quite a bit of char and roasted malts.
Last (and in no particular order) is Velvet Merkin. TONS of coffee exploding into your nose in this 5.5% oatmeal stout and with 500 pounds of oats per batch, Velvet Merkin is incredibly smooth and, well, velvety just as the name suggests.
All in all, it was an amazing night and there’s not enough good things I can say about Firestone Walker and their beer!