Battle of the brewers – Part 2

Continuing on from my original post here.

The event was Battle of the Brewers (BotB) Portland vs. Wellington. The event is described as:

Portland comes out punching with Pelican Brewing Company​, Barley Brown’s Brew Pub​ and Breakside Brewery​. Wellington fights back with Garage Project​, North End Brewing​ and Kereru Brewing Company​. Four courses supremely prepared by Shaun Clouston, a beer match each from Portland and Wellington.

Only one city can reign supreme. You decide who did it best.

The brewers from the Wellington and Portland breweries will be at this event to talk through their beers, and fight their corner. This is a fantastic opportunity to get up-close and personal with some of the US’ best exports and Wellington’s brewing elite.

With a five course meal prepared by Logan Brown’s chef Shaun Clouston and beers to match from Portland and Wellington, it’s safe to say that those attending were all winners.

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Second Course

The second course was:

Beechwood Honey Roasted Duck, Pheasant Sausage, Turnip & Nashi

Can I just mention how amazing the meal was? The different textures with savoury and sweet flavours was delicious.

The second course meal was served with the beers North End Brewing Amber Ale & Pelican Brewing Kiwanda Cream Ale. Both beers were amazing, however I now have a new favourite beer. The Kiwanda is amazing and I’m now trying to hunt some down in New Zealand to stock in my fridge at home.

A run down of the brews is below for those that have not had a chance to taste them before. The Amber Ale is described as:

Aromas of marmalade and grapefruit combine with caramel and a hint of chocolate, in the mouth the beer is rounded with a firm biscuit malt character with hints of toffee, caramel and chocolate balanced by a lightly resinous citrus hop character leading to a rounded dry finish.

  • Style: New World Session Ale
  • Alcohol: 4.4%
  • Brewed with: NZ Mild Ale Malt, Special W, Crystal Malt, Hops: Pacifica , NZ Cascade, NZ Styrians – and London ESB Yeast

The Kiwanda is described as:

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Second Course Beer contenders – Amber Ale on the left, Kiwanda on the right

Inspired by one of America’s traditional 19th century beer styles, Kiwanda Cream Ale is pale gold with a fruity, floral hop aroma. A sweet malty flavor and a smooth snappy finish round out this tasty, refreshing brew!

  • Style: Cream Ale
  • Alcohol: 5.4%
  • Brewed with: Two-Row malt, Flaked barley, Mt. Hood hops, CaraPils malt, pure ale yeast

As I mentioned – I thought both beers were amazing. Matched with food the Kiwanda just did it for me and a new favourite.

The room mostly agreed with me with Pelican Brewery taking the win for this course. It was close, but they scraped in.

The third course of the lunch was:

Grilled Octopus, Crisp Pork, Kim Chi, Black Garlic & Daikon

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Third course

Again, an amazing meal by Logan Brown (do they ever make a bad meal?). I love Kim Chi especially so thoroughly enjoyed this dish.

The third course was served with Keruru Resonator IPA & Barley Browns Pallet Jack IPA. The brewer of Keruru mentioned that Resonator is their hoppiest beer as they don’t usually have massively hoppy beers.

A run down of the brews is below for those that have not had a chance to taste them before. The Resonator IPA is described as:

Resonator IPA is a pale golden India Pale Ale that showcases Nelson Sauvin and Motueka hops, with notes of aromatic resin & passion fruit.

This special edition beer was made for the 2015 West Coast IPA Challenge.

  • Style: IPA
  • Alcohol: 6.5%
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Third course contenders – Resonator IPA on the left, Pallet Jack IPA on the right.

The Pallet Jack IPA is described as (from Untappd):

2013 GABF GOLD Medal, 2013 Brewing News National IPA Champion! 2012 GABF Silver Medal winner.
The awesome blend of Columbus, Citra, Amarillo, and Simcoe Hops bombard this IPA with flavors of citrus, tropical fruit, and a little bit of pine. The light malt flavor comes from 2-row barley and a touch of crystal malt.

  • Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
  • Alcohol: 7.2%

Well this was a super close match. Both beers were solid but very similar tasting, with slight differences. I think Resonator just scrapped through with the food matching.

The voting on this was very, very close. Our MC Delaney Mes had a hard time working out who did won, but Keruru scraped through.

Phew, this blog post is taking longer than I thought. Will pop fourth and fifth course on another post in the near future.

Battle of the brewers and the winner is me!

I had the pleasure of attending one of the Road to Beervana events last week. I found out about it when a friend was tweeting about it asking if anyone wanted to go. The event was Battle of the Brewers (BotB) Portland vs. Wellington. The event is described as:

Portland comes out punching with Pelican Brewing Company​, Barley Brown’s Brew Pub​ and Breakside Brewery​. Wellington fights back with Garage Project​, North End Brewing​ and Kereru Brewing Company​. Four courses supremely prepared by Shaun Clouston, a beer match each from Portland and Wellington.

Only one city can reign supreme. You decide who did it best.

The brewers from the Wellington and Portland breweries will be at this event to talk through their beers, and fight their corner. This is a fantastic opportunity to get up-close and personal with some of the US’ best exports and Wellington’s brewing elite.

With a five course meal prepared by Logan Brown’s chef Shaun Clouston and beers to match from Portland and Wellington, it’s safe to say that those attending were all winners. 

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First course

The event was hosted by New Zealand food writer and personality, Delaney Mes. Delaney did a great job of being short and to the point while being friendly and inviting. Before each meal we had a talk from Shaun about the meal his team had prepared. Then a word from each brewer about their beers before being served the first course.

My friend and I were seated at a table with four other strangers but it was a great time and everyone was super friendly. We were joking and laughing away throughout the event.

The first course was:

Ōra King Salmon “Char-tar”, Salmon Biltong, Scampi Popcorn, Wasabi & Yuzu

This was served with two beers. A Garage Project’s Wabi Sabi and a Breakside Oui, Chef.

A run down of the brews is below for those that have not had a chance to taste them before. The Wabi Sabi is described as:

The concept of Wabi-Sabi is hard to define. It is natural simplicity – flawed beauty – the way imperfection can make an object more compelling. Sourness produced by lactic bacteria in beer is normally considered a flaw. This beer is naturally soured and its sharp, tart character complimented with Honeydew melon and the juice and rind of fresh Yuzu. nothing is perfect – but sometimes imperfection can be beautiful.

  • Style: Frust & Spice
  • Alcohol: 7.7%
  • Brewed with: Yuzu and Honeydew melon

The Oui, Chef is described as:

Oui, Chef is a straw-coloured Farmhouse ale brewed with European spelt and two types of fennel. We use both fennel seed and fennel pollen at different points in the brewing process to layer in the complex savoury and herbal notes from the spice. Originally brewed as part of our Chef collaboration series in 2012, this beer was designed by our brewers and Chef Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon Restaurant in Portland.

  • Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale
  • Alcohol: 6.9%,
  • Brewed with: Malts – German Pilsner and Spelt, Crystal 15L & cascade hops with special ingredients fennel seed and fennel pollen
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Left: Wabi Sabi; Right: Oui, Chef

Our tables initial views was that the Oui, Chef was our preferred choice. However, once we were served our food, our minds changed quickly. The Garage Project’s Wabi Sabi beer was matched amazingly to the food. Our table did agree though that the Oui, Chef was a better match to the Scampi popcorn but the meal overall was better matched to Garage Project’s Wabi Sabi.

After every course there was a quick show of hands to determine which beer was the winner. In most cases the vote was close, but for first course Garage Project’s Wabi Sabi was the winner!

Stay tuned for my run down on the next course details and my thoughts on it.