Tuesday, April 12, 2011

BEERflections ~ Ballast Point Beer Dinner @ Town Crier Pub

A month seems so long ago and yet just like yesterday, time can be an intriguing reflection through which great beer and great food reminisce in prose and lyric. Beerotica for the mind’s eye but just what is beerotica…

One doesn’t have to travel far to find truly mouthwatering morsels of hand-crafted flavor exploration. As a native Veroite and self-discovered foodie, my own personal euphoric journey of beer and food is truly near and dear. Via the cool concrete of the well-traveled I-95, I found myself once more amidst the friendly faces of Town Crier, a land of beer and food not so far away.

Having never missed a Pub dinner to date, I was not about to miss the first of a brand new year. Joining me for the first time was my Lady Laura, reason alone for this dinner to be the best so far. Not to say the brews, food, and peeps also contributed to my night of tasteful indulgence but in the warm accompaniment of Love, life is always good.

How good?
As good as five courses of beer foodvinity can be.

I wish their previous chef George Citron well at his new culinary endeavor and he can rest assured that the Town Crier Pub is in good hands with Chef Kyle Greene. Ballast Point Brewery out of San Diego, California may be new to Florida but they are certainly not new to beer. I’ve said it before, I’m saying it now, and I’m sure I’ll say it again: great beers + great food = magic. Not the magic of fairy dust and unicorns but the very real magic of flavorvana.

Joining my Love and I at our table of awesomeness were fellow alum Mike and Paula (never missed a dinner), Mark Boland (never missed a dinner) and his own leading lady, Tammy, Joe, Lorraine and Duncan, Tara, and a beer dinner newb, Jenny. With camera at the ready, tastebuds raring, appetite rumbling, excitement crackled through the air as the first of five orgasm-inducing courses entered, followed by another and another until there were none. No matter the dinner, there has always been one course that rises above the others but not this time. A Town Crier first, all courses excelled equally. The bar has been raised high indeed. Can you hear me, Major Tom?

Astral projection aside, since I can’t choose nor do I desire to do so, a few titillating tidbits of beery food porn shall I expose here and now. The rest shall be left to the enviably hungry imagination.

First Course:
Curry jumbo lump crab salad resting atop mango coconut sauce accompanied by fresh avocado slices and paired with Wahoo White.
  • Soft fresh melt-in-the-mouth hand lumped crab meat atop sweet mango coconut decadence tempers a spicy curry kick. As for the avocado, tis a treat unto itself and seafood’s natural bedfellow. Paired with the soothing essence of bubblegum, tropical fruits, moist breads, and sunshine, Wahoo Wheat was the beginning and the end.

Second Course:
Seared sea scallop amidst toasted almonds and tropical fruit salsa puree meets the Sculpin IPA.
  • Sculpin is easily one of my favorite IPAs readily available within my sunny state of Florida. Crisp and dry, spicy and fruity, bitter and sweet, citrusy and grassy. Unsurprisingly, her flavors complemented and uplifted the savory succulent toasty caramelized tropical spicy delights that exploded with each bite. Hands down one of the best scallops ever savored in my life amidst a phantasia of seafoodsations.

Third Course:
Chorizo encrusted mahi-mahi rests atop a moat of creamy Creole sauce accompanied by Calico Amber Ale.
  • When I pass from this world I want it to be with a warm crock of creamy Creole sauce in my hand. Holy mahi-mahi! May I have some more please…and please I did. (Yes, there are pictures) The tender mahi-mahi with its chorizo crust crunched and the sauce creamed as spicy heat tickled. With each quaff of the Calico Amber Ale, clean hops cut highlighted while a crisp malt backbone kept order of each flavor procession from fork to mouth and glass to lips.

Fourth Course:
Petite sirloin slathered with beautiful bacon onion marmalade surrounded by mushroom ragout and pubstershire sauce while the Big Eye IPA stood guard.
  • Red meat, white meat, purple meat – if you kill it and cook it I will eat it. Just please, make mine as juicy red as possible please and thank you. The sauce was a sweet meaty succulent umami carnivoregasm. The only problem and a minor one at that was the omission of steak knives. Tender is as tender does but tender can do neither without her tablemate. Cutlery aside, the Big Eye IPA threw his malty weight into the mix, matching bite for quaff with caramelized melba crunch and hop spice.

Fifth Course:
Dense nutella-chocolate mousse with in-house candied hazelnuts accompanied by Victory At Sea, a coffee vanilla imperial porter.
  • Consider this your exclusive beer ambassador expose to tempt, tantalize, and seduce. What appeared before my lovelorn eyes was neither dense nor daunting but demure and divine. Her nutty chocophoria floated across my tastebuds like a buxom goddess drifting through clouds of heavenly fluff – sensual and sexual. Ambrosia is alive and well at Town Crier Pub of Tradition, Florida, indeed.

Hungry and thirsty yet?

Burgundism came, tasted, and conquered once more. I know I alluded to earlier but it bears to be said again – best beer dinner yet. Not only were the pairings taste-on, but for the first time the portions were perfect. Chris, Kyle, and the crew are definitely taking off into a successful new horizon of burgundian indulgence, a new horizon me, my Love, and my posse of peeps will happily crest time and time again.

Since the February 28th dinner, there have been no further pairings. On the flipside, Ballast Point brews of all varieties have graced my fridge and will continue to do so. For sharing his personal passion for Ballast Point with we humble beer dinner geeks of the Treasure Coast, a generous thanks to Earl. Florida may be a bit behind the whole craft beerdom but not for long. Look out world, here we come and here I am!

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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