17 Dec Burn ‘Em Dinner at HopCat Satisfies Beer And Food Fans Alike
I wrote back in August that the monthly beer pairing dinners hosted by HopCat in Broad Ripple contain some of the best bang for your buck. For just $30, you get a four course meal, generous pours of multiple beers, a menu selected specifically for the evening, and an opportunity to rub elbows and hear stories from the best brewers in Indiana. They really can’t be beat, especially at that price point. So, when I saw the boys fromBurn ‘Em Brewing (Michigan City, IN) were going to be featured at this month’s dinner, I snatched up my ticket faster than Santa steals a kiss from mommy.
I’ve been a big fan of Burn ‘Em’s beers since I was first introduced to them this summer, and my fridge usually has a steady supply of Coconoats, Cuke Nukems, and Kreamed Corns to drink and share. On top of making wildly delicious beers, the team at Burn ‘Em is made up of incredibly nice, generous, and fun-loving people who love to share stories and tell anyone interested about their beers. How could you not want to spend an evening with folks like that over a delicious meal?
Our first course was a roasted vegetable tartlet (a quiche-like dish) with goat cheese and a nice pepper kick, paired with Burn ‘Em’s Pale Alement, a crisp “extra” pale ale brewed with Centennial and Summit hops. Pale ales and IPAs are always the best beers to pair with spicy foods, and earthy and fruity flavors from Pale Alement are no exception.
The second course was a creamy wild mushroom soup (something Campbell’s wish they could make) made with five different types of mushrooms, paired with the brewery’s 42 amber rye ale. Rye flavors always go well with hearty foods (think: a stiff rye whiskey paired with a meaty New York strip steak), and this was no exception. When asked how the soup was, I gleefully exclaimed, “It tastes like actual mushrooms!” And look at my photo. See the big chunks of mushrooms? That’s how a cream of mushroom soup is SUPPOSED to taste. I wish this item was on HopCat’s regular menu.
Our main course was HopCat’s take on a Christmas dinner: Brindle Brown beer glazed ham, potatoes au gratin, collard greens and a deviled egg. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for collard greens, and these definitely lived up to my standard. But the ham was definitely the star here.
Dessert caught me off guard. I’m not big on sweets and usually opt out of desserts at restaurants, but the mini pineapple upside down cake really hit the spot after the hearty and savory dishes that preceded it. The cake had an almost cheesecake-like consistency to it, and the pineapple was a nice break from the salt of the ham. Paired with a Toffee E. Harmony toffee porter (made in collaboration with Right Brain Brewery out of Traverse City, Michigan), these sweet offerings were the perfect way to wrap up the evening.
Be sure to keep an eye out for next month’s dinner at HopCat, where another four course meal will be paired with selections from Evansville’s Tin Man. I hope to see you there.