Last night, we went to the Schlafly Brewmaster Dinner at McCoy's. These dinners take place monthly; the premise is to enjoy the ways that beer and food can complement each other.
Those who didn’t attend missed out in a BIG way. We were thoroughly impressed by every dish and glass they put in front of us.
They closed the Foundry off to the public; the 60-or-so dinner attendees had the entire place to ourselves. We were fortunate enough to be seated at the “Brewmaster’s Table”. Steven Hale, the brewmaster at Schlafly, was highly informative and entertaining. Don’t believe me? Watch the video below to get your kilt and Karate Kid soundtrack fix. (Yes, he was wearing the kilt last night.)
The beers were all special-release-type brews. For the Kansas Citians among us, they would be analogous to Boulevard’s Smokestack series—big flavors, big bottles, big alcohol content. The first two beers (Biere de Garde and Grand Cru) came in at 7.5% and 9% respectively; the Tripel, Quadrupel, Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout and Oak-Aged Barleywine all carried double-digit ABVs. And yes, you could tell at the end of the night.
I had a hard time picking a favorite, because they were all nice representations of their respective styles. I think the winner at the end (for me, at least) was the Stout. Huge in flavor but not totally overwhelmed by the bourbon notes (which can ruin it for me). The rich chocolate flavors just amplified all that was good about the beer.
The food didn’t just complement the beer—it was delicious. This was a full-on six-course gourmet meal: seared salmon with blackberries; flatbread with prosciutto, gorgonzola and arugula; cassoulet with duck sausage; a flourless chocolate torte with caramel ice cream and sea salt brittle; and a dried fruit beggar’s purse made of phyllo. Add the beer pairings (which basically carry the punch and cost of wine), and the meal was an absolute steal at $40.
The only thing I would have changed would be to flip the order of the two dessert courses. The stout was so big on the palate that we lost some of the subtleties of the barleywine that came out afterward.
I would go on raving about this, but it’s easier to take a look at what I’m talking about. Go to McCoy's blog for photos, menus, course descriptions, beer descriptions, etc. Next month will be a Latin-themed dinner, followed by a barbecue/smoked beers theme in September.