Adam’s Musings on our First Beer Dinner — March 16, 2012

Let’s face it:  the world of beer has changed!  Today, many breweries are veering far from the old standards and creating craft beers which have all the nuances of fine wine.  I’ve seen (and tasted) such concoctions as green tea IPA’s, chipotle chocolate stouts and everything in between.

With this evolution and experimentation, one can understand why pairing beer with tasting menus is also valid and oftentimes more interesting than wine.

Don’t get me wrong, I love wine . . . I love pairing food and wine; however, the wide variety of hops and different combinations of toasted malts give beer a grassy freshness that interacts with food on many different levels.

Further, beer is usually not as high in alcohol as wine.  Alcohol can sometimes numb the palate, making it more difficult to detect some of the more finite tasting notes.

With all this said, I have decided to pair a tasting menu with the beers from Tröegs brewery in Hershey, PA.  This brewery produces a wide variety of beers which range from fruity and loaded with citrus all the way to chocolatey with a finish of burnt caramel.

I look at each of these beers almost as ingredients when I constructed this tasting menu so one is constantly asking, “Is this beer a supplement to the food, or is the food a supplement to the beer?”

Each one of these beers is drastically different, and can be enjoyed by seasoned craft beer drinkers or someone who is tasting these styles of beers for the first time.  Either way, this is an event not to be missed!


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The Inn at Vaucluse Spring is a fifteen room bed and breakfast spread throughout a small village of six guest houses surrounding a large limestone spring in Virginia’s fabled Shenandoah Valley.

Set amidst 100 scenic acres in rolling orchard country, the Inn is ideally located between the historic sites of Winchester and the outdoor activities near Front Royal and Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive. Choose from a wide variety of accommodations, from the elegance of the historic Vaucluse Manor House to the log and stone warmth of an 1850′s log house, to the privacy of individual cottages.

Spacious guest rooms indulge your senses with Jacuzzis, fireplaces, queen and king beds, and bucolic views.  Sitting rooms, porches, and outdoor seating abound, providing plenty of nooks for intimate conversation and daydreaming.

The Inn’s modern Southern cuisine uses the best local ingredients, including herbs, heirloom tomatoes and wild watercress from the inn’s gardens and grounds and fruit from nearby orchards.

Special Event Dinners:

Each year the Inn hosts a series of Vintner’s Dinner Weekends. Working with the evening’s vintner, we develop a special menu, and paired wines are selected. During the serving of each course, the vintner provides a brief description of the characteristics of the wine chosen to accompany each course.

Come discover why Washingtonian Magazine and American Historic Hotels  both named it one of their “Top 10 Most Romantic Inns”.

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