Tallgrass Tap House in Manhattan, Kansas, hosted its first-ever beer pairing dinner on Friday, October 23rd. I was the featured speaker and discussed the making of KC Ale Trail and answered questions about local/regional breweries and beer styles. Each guest enjoyed a hearty four-course meal with beer pairings and a copy of the book. Here is a recap of the meal with beer pairing notes.
Above, the first course of Velvet Mussels featured sauteed mussels in a Velvet Rooster Belgian-style Tripel and smoked tomato broth with saffron and served with sourdough toast points. Paired with the Velvet Rooster from Tallgrass. As you’ll read below, each course incorporated one of the brewery’s beers in the actual cooking.
The second course of acorn squash bisque with toasted pepitas was paired with Pumpkin Slayer Porter, a seasonal brewery-only release with prominent pumpkin pie spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. We were the first guests ever at the Tap House to try this beer that was subsequently released to the public in the tasting room later that night.
Course three was a massive plate of bison short rib braised in Tallgrass Pub Ale demi-glace with gooseberries, served with pancetta asiago dauphinoise potatoes and roasted root medley. This course was paired with Pub Ale, the brewery’s malty mild English Brown Ale with caramel notes.
Finally, we wound down with a dessert of pumpkin pear bread pudding laced with pecans and a Great Hambino caramel sauce and creme anglaise. Great Hambino Porter was provided with this course. As a bonus fifth course, each guest received a flight of the brewery’s Subrosa Berliner Weisse with three additional flavored variations. A Berliner Weisse is a traditional German wheat beer style that is sour and often served with added fruit syrup to balance out the tartness. Tonight, we were served the unadulterated Weisse and versions with raspberry, blackberry and honey lavender sauces. All were delicious.
Thanks to Tap House general manager Matt Ruhnke, chef Lance Gipson, and brewer Brandon Gunn for their help in organizing and co-hosting the event. Lance and Brandon each took turns discussing the courses and pairings. I was able to spend time chatting with the group overall and visiting each table for more conversation and questions. The meal and evening were great.
That evening, the Kansas City Royals beat the Toronto Blue Jays that evening in Game 6 of the ALCS and advanced to the World Series. Our group was able to watch the game after the dinner on a large-screen TV. I whooped and howled and cheered as the Royals eeked out a 4–3 win. I could hardly sleep that night, eager to return to Kansas City.
If you ever find yourself in Manhattan, be sure to stop at the Tallgrass Tap House for some excellent beer and food.
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