On Saturday, February 11, 2012, I attended a Brew Master’s Dinner at The Gathering Place at the Coeur d Alene Casino. It featured Fred Colby Brew Master for Laughing Dog Brewing, Chef Adam Hegsted from the Casino, and Enoteca in Post Falls.
The food and the staff at the Casino were amazing and Fred from Laughing Dog is always very knowledgable and provided a lot of information about the beers we were tasting and was able to answer all the questions that people had.
There were only 40 tickets sold and the event was sold out which for the very first Brew Master’s Dinner this was a great showing. The Casino plans on doing this every month with next month’s brewer being Wallace Brewing.
I have included some photos above of the food and the menu, but here is my short take on what we had.
1. Beer Glazed Chicken with the Cream Ale
The chicken was a bit dry, but I gave them leeway as they had to prepare so many dishes for this amount of people that I am sure they had no choice but to prepare a lot of it ahead of time. The flavor of the chicken though was really good and went well with Laughing Dog’s Cream Ale. This is a great beer to have on a hot summer day or if you are just wanting a light beer to drink throughout the evening. This is a good choice.
2. Tillamook Cheddar Soup w/Pretzel Croutons with the Rocket Dog Rye IPA
Rocket Dog Rye IPA is Fred’s go to beer. Simcoe hops is patented and hard to get a hold of and is what are used in this beer.
Oh my! The soup was delicious. Not sure if the Rye was the best pairing choice for me. Hops were over powering for the soup. Maybe a sharper cheddar or adding a stronger tasting cheese to the mix.
3. Braised and Crispy Pork Belly and Alpha Dog Imperial IPA
The Pork Belly was really Yummy and this time the complex flavors of the dish were suited for a strong hoppy IPA!
Alpha Dog Imperial IPA – Name comes from “alpha acids” which come out the longer hops are cooked. This creates that good bitterness in an IPA. This beer comes in at 120 IBU’s but the human palate can only detect 100 IBU’s so once a beer goes over this someone won’t notice a difference in hop levels.
4. Beer Granite using Uprooted Amber Ale
This beer was made specifically for the Casino by Laughing Dog Brewing and will be on tap at the Casino. The recipe is a combination of two other Laughing Dog Brews.
The Granite itself was Way too salty so we asked to try the beer in it’s own glass and it was a pleasant surprise and I beer that I would definitely drink. Just not over ice in a Granite style.
5. Grilled Prime New York and Cold Nose
Cold Nose Winter Ale one of first dark ales brewed when Laughing Dog first opened and has continued to be on their list of brews on tap at the brewery.
The steak was delicious! I am not sure how they knew, but mine was cooked to medium rare perfection and Tom’s was cooked to medium which is exactly how we each like them. Just lucky I guess!
Not a fan of the Oxtail tater tots. They didn’t have a whole lot of flavor and I am not a fan of horseradish which was there for the tots. Noticed other people really enjoying them though.
6. Bourbon Creme Brulee and Dogfather Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout
This is what they will serve in heaven and what a coincidence that the Bourbon barrels used to age the Stout come from Heaven Hills distilling. The Creme Brulee was sinful and was perfectly paired with the Bourbon Barrel Stout.
We also had a special treat at the very end because Fred had brought a keg of 2009 Dogfather Bourbon Barrel Stout that had been aging for the last few years. There were people who enjoyed the aged brew and others that prefered the 2011 release, but since I am such a big fan of these types of stouts I was happy to be able to try them both. They were both a hit in my book.
Tom decided that Brittany F. was the server of the evening, although the entire staff was helpful and attentive. That was a big room to have to serve 6 different courses and 7 different beers too! I applaud the casino and the great job they did. Only suggestion would be to have the chef speak more about why the particular dish was chosen to pair with the particular beer. What can I say…sucker for education!
In closing I wanted to thank Victoria from KKZX and her friend Jamie (whose name I won’t forget. Her husband works at the Casino.) for being such great company at the dinner. It kept things entertaining and always nice to find out what other people like and dislike in food and beer.
Also, a huge Thank You to Fred and Michelle from Laughing Dog for being there and providing us with such great beer, Enoteca for always bringing us great tasting events and a place to find great beer and wine (member of their beer club and love it), Kevin with Odom Distributing for finally letting go of the microphone, and of course the Casino for a great event!!!
Finally, I would like to thank the Academy for nominating me for this…oops…dream segway…no in all seriousness Thank you to my husband Tom for being my designated driver and allowing me to indulge!