#HBGBeerWeek Preview IPA Dinner at ABC Mechanicsburg
Typically, beer dinners will involve several different beer styles, many times from one brewery, providing an overview of one brewer’s portfolio. You could get anything and everything from a roasty stout to a pucker-up sour.
When Harrisburg Beer Week and Appalachian Brewing Company decided to pair up for a beer dinner to benefit Harrisburg River Rescue, the sole beneficiary of Harrisburg Beer Week, it had to be a bit out of the box.
And it was.
An all-IPA dinner with ABC, Pizza Boy, Troegs and Wyndridge was born. Hop heads all over Harrisburg rejoiced and flocked to ABC Mechanicsburg to see what the four featured breweries had in store.
We are used to seeing events like this during #HBGBeerWeek, hopefully this can hold us over until Beer Week 2016 (April 22-30 2016).
Opening Pint – Hoppy Belgian Blonde by ABC
While we were all sipping on this refreshing, yet still decently hopped blonde ale, Artie began to tell the story of the IPA.
By now most of us have heard the story of how IPAs came into existence. British brewers would add more hops to ensure the beer stayed fresh on its trip to British troops in India.
But Artie went beyond the usual short story and shared more stories about IPAs, including how kings would brew a beer in honor of a newborn son and stuff the barrel with hops to keep it fresh until the child’s 18th birthday.
He also talked about the history of the American IPA, and the craft beer revolution in the U.S.
It was just the type of thing to expect from a beer dinner with Artie.
Food: Asian pork belly and kimchi spring roll with ginger soy sauce
Beer: Pizza Boy Murren River IPA
This first dish started the whole dinner off on the right foot. Sara’s first reaction was to ask Artie if this was could be a new menu item because it was that good.
The pork belly, kimchi combo gave the succulent and sour taste with a little bit of the spicy kick that you expect from kimchi.
(What’s kimchi? Kimchi is Korean spicy fermented cabbage. It is usually buried underground in the summer to keep cool and dug up once winter rolls around. )
The Murren River is a little sweet by nature so it gave a nice balance to the dish.
Food: Endive salad toped with pancetta, crumbled blue cheese and hoppy poppy vinaigrette
Beer: ABC Hoppy Trails
This was the salad course to cleanse your palate for what was to come.
Endive is slightly bitter, but was balanced with the vinaigrette and blue cheese.
Artie calls Hoppy Trails his go-to daily beer and there’s no question why. It’s been around for so long that it sometimes gets lost. Make no mistake, this beer is still one hell of a hop bomb that delivers citrusy goodness with every sip.
Wyndridge Imperial Belgian IPA
When I saw what Pete from Wyndridge had planned, I was pretty giddy. Belgian IPAs are my favorite “substyle” of IPAs. That sentence sounds so beer snobby, but what the hell.
This beer was juicy and dank with all the funk that comes with anything Belgian. It’s an extremely limited brew, so if you can get to their tasting room you might have a chance of snagging a pint.
Make sure to look for Wyndridge all around beer week this year! Pete said he has some exciting things planned for Little Big Beer Fest.
Food: Beer braised short rib with mashed potatoes and carrots with demi glas
Beer: ABC Outta Focus 2X IPA
This dish was wholesome comfort food at its finest. A cut of short rib that melted in your mouth sat on top of a bed of red mashed potatoes accompanied by carrots.
Outta Focus is ABC’s take on a Pacific Northwest style of IPA that utilizes Cascade, Pilgrim, Millenium and Styrian hops to give you floral and bitter notes.
Food: Orange creme brûlée topped with chocolate shavings
Beer: Troegs Nimble Giant Double IPA
It is possible that this was one of the best food to beer pairings I have ever tried.
Who would’ve known that something like creme brulee would go 100% hand-in-hand with a juicy IPA. The answer, not me.
The orange from the dessert mixed wonderfully with the fruity citrusy notes that are so prevalent in Nimble Giant. This was hands down my favorite dish of the night.
It was an night that made all attendees itch for the start of HBG Beer Week 2016. Artie enjoyed doing the dinner so much that he is bringing a similar one back for Beer Week. So, if you missed this round, keep on the look out for this event in the future —