The City Beer Hall is one of my favorite restaurants in Albany. There is always a great selection of beer, fantastic menu items, and an atmosphere that always makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. This past Monday was no exception when I attended their Artisanal Beer Dinner with my blogger friend The Fuj.
This five course dinner was a collaboration between Dimitrios, the Executive Chef of The City Beer Hall and the folks at Remarkable Liquids.
I could tell they put in a lot of time and effort deciding how to pair each course so the flavors would complement each other.
The first course started with Eden Ice Sparkling Cider that was fermented and aged in French oak puncheons for a year, then bottled with a secondary fermentation.
Crudo scallop with oyster & tarragon puree, caviar, and shiso.
The cider was so refreshing and the sweetness from the apples was the perfect accompaniment to the hint of salt from the scallop and oyster flavors in the first course.
The second course beer was Stillwater Rio de Sauvin which is a tropical farmhouse ale brewed with mango and passion fruit.
The beer was paired with a tropical winter salad of papaya, starfruit, jicama, mango & habanero glazed crispy pork cheek, and a coconut & cardamom meringue.
The pork cheek was out of this world.
The third course was Almanac Farmer's Reserve Blackberry sour blonde ale. Which was infused with loads of coastal blackberries from Swanton Berry Farm in California's Santa Cruz Mountains and aged in wine barrels for man months.
It was paired with beet & olive oil sorbet, beet & goat cheese mousse, beet crisps, blackberry gastrique, and smoked sea salt.
My favorite course of the evening was the Perennial Fete de Noel which is a holiday Belgian strong dark ale brewed with orange peel, fermented on raisins, and finished with rosemary.
The beer was paired with duck breast, roasted black radish, prunes, duck hearts, and watermelon radish.
The duck breast was beyond tender and extremely moist. I was a bit hesitant about the duck heart, but when paired with the prunes it may have been my second favorite bite of the evening (crispy pork cheek was obviously my favorite).
We ended the evening with B.Nektar Zombies take Manhattan which is a lightly sparkling apple, honey, and cherry mead aged in rye whiskey barrels.
The talented man behind the entire meal, Dimitrios!
I had a wonderful time at the dinner and am definitely going to make it to the next one, whenever that is!
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