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Friday, February 22, 2008

Upstate Beer & Game Dinner -- here are your beers!

Scoats is now selling tickets for the Upstate Pennsylvania Breweries Wild Game Beer Dinner, which I'm hosting at the Grey Lodge on March 9 at 5 PM. I'm proud to say that this is a beer dinner that not many people could have put together, but Scoats and I have done it. We have a game menu paired with four beers from tiny upstate breweries, three of which are less than six months old. You won't find these beers anywhere else in Philly, and you won't find beers from all four of these breweries anywhere in the world. Except the Grey Lodge Pub.

First course: Hunter's chili, made with ground venison.
First beer: Elk Creek IPA. Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks is in Millheim, a town so far out in the sticks you can't even see The Sticks from there. But they attracted GABF award-winning brewer Tim Yarrington (and no surprise: it's beautiful country up there), and this is your hop-fix for the night, ready to trim that spicy deer-meat chili.

Second course: Sauteed Partridge Salad (like duck breast salad, only more delicate)
Second beer: Bavarian Barbarian Headbangerz Brown Ale. Mike Hiller founded Bavarian Barbarian Brewing Co. in Williamsport just last year, a production-only brewery, brewing only two beers so far. This one is a sturdy English-type brown, great for the sauteed flavors of partridge.

Third course: Beer-braised rabbit (I do love me some bunny wabbit).
Third beer: Bullfrog Winter Warmer. Terry Hawbaker has been making fantastic beers for years now; first at W.T. Hackett's in Scranton (which closed), then at Black Rock in Wilkes-Barre (which closed), and for four years since then at the Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport (proving that all he needed was a stable platform!). Terry and I talked about maybe pairing his Tripel or Unique Singel with our rabbit main course, but then he said, 'You know...the Winter Warmer I have on now has just a hint of rosemary. That might be good with rabbit.' And the deal was sealed. He promises: "just a hint." Gonna be great with the rabbit.

Fourth course: Apple fritters (don't you love fritters? Such an upstate kinda dessert.)
Fourth beer: One Guy Cinnamon Boldy. If you read this blog, you know about One Guy Brewing. And you probably know about Cinnamon Boldy: "He handed me a glass: it was a light gold, and the cinnamon came bursting out of the glass, not like a little cinnamon on an apple dumpling, more like cinnamon in Moroccan stews. Bold, like the man said. The beer in the mouth was big, blazing, almost like a tea made from cinnamon hearts. I am not a fan of spice beers, but I'll be dipped if I didn't enjoy this. I've never had anything like it. "

As I said, a beer dinner you just will not find anywhere else. The ticket price is $80, and as Scoats says, "It's a little pricer than I hoped, but game is expensive. And that price does include taxes and tip", so no surprises or extras. Give Scoats a call (215-825-5357) or drop him an e-mail about tickets. See you there.


Chris said...

Good to see all the beers from Northcentral PA - "The Great Beer Wasteland of the World". Maybe we'll lose that distinction yet!

Thirsty in Muncy

Syllogism said...

Great pairing of beers, and food. I really look forward to it. Have a friend flying in from the Left Coast just for this dinner. Now as long as you don't pull that slipping Yuengling Lager trick which you did years ago at Isaac Newton's we will all be happy.

Lew Bryson said...

Hey, Yuengling is an upstate brewery, right?

No, no Yuengling this time. But did you see that there will be cask Lord Chesterfield at Don Russell's event on the 7th? Amazing. Don told me they may have cask Porter, too. Even Yuengling is finally getting more fully on board the craft bus.

I'm excited about this dinner, and not just because it gives me a good excuse to go visit two new breweries, an old favorite (Bullfrog) and a new one (One Guy). This is Philly Beer Week as we imagined it: the beer world, large or small, coming to Philadelphia, because this is a stage they want to be on.

Deuane said...

dh stated..."The Great Beer Wasteland of the World".

Say what! I think the folks at Bullfrog and Selin's Grove Brewing would like to dispute that! They both have been making great carft beers for the past 10+ years!

And now...One Guy, Bavarian Barbarian, Abbey Wright, Elk Creek...MAN! The upstate is going wild! All you guys need now is a brewpub in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area AND KEEP IT OPEN!

Anonymous said...

OK, what's with this "upstate" thing? Upstate New York, sure, but I've lived in Pennsylvania all my life and have never used or heard "upstate" in this regard till Lew. Wouldn't that make Erie beer "upstate." too? I'm familiar with "northeast," northcentral," and "northwest" PA, but this "upstate' thing has me confused.

By the way (and my allegiance is showing here), let's not forget Otto's in all this discourse. They're as good an upstate brewery as any we've got!

Lew Bryson said...

"Upstate" is just like in NY: anything more than 100 miles away from the major city in the southeast corner, so yeah, Erie's definitely upstate. Everyone down here in the 5-county area knows exactly what I mean when I say it. It's not demeaning, Sam: I loves upstate, I do. It's just shorthand.

Otto's was on the list, and you're right about the beer, top-notch, but I wanted to get the newest breweries in, and I had to make the run shorter, if possible.

Deuane said...

Carolyn and I are looking forward to this dinner. I emailed Scoats and reserved 2 tickets.

Say, are you making a road trip to get the beers mentioned or are the brewers coming to Philly,"shudder"?

If you are making the run do you need any help? I am coming...have easy access to 3 of the 4..only One Guy is a bit out of my way. Let me know.

Also, I have to agree with Sam....this upstate thing...WTF? I live more than 100 miles (give or take ) from Philly, am I too "upstate"? Just curious since I am not in one of the five counties! Does that mean only 5 counties matter and the other 62 are mere hind-tit suckers?

Anonymous said...

No offense taken, Lew. It's just that, as someone who has lived "upstate" for more than thirty years, I've never before heard that term. I've actually asked around, and no one up here has ever heard or used it, either. (You'll note that dh refers to where he lives as "Northcentral PA," which is how I would refer to the area. You "southeasterners" just have a different take on the subject! Now igonre my tangent and enjoy your trip, dammit!

Anonymous said...

Here's my humble opinion (for whatever it is worth...)

As a castaway of Lycoming and Union counties, I'm always an advocate for the description of "Central Pennsylvania" when talking about places like Otto's, Elk Creek, Bavarian Barbarian, Bullfrog and Selin's Grove.

But when you include a place as far east as One Guy in Berwick, it does get difficult to describe.

Since three out of the four represented breweries are north of I-80 and most people *think* Penns Valley a far northern reach, "upstate" is an appropriate descriptor. (That being said, if the breweries were all from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia (below I-76), I probably wouldn't advocate for using the term "downstate".)

Despite what you want to call it geographically, in culinary terms this sounds like an AMAZING pairing. We can only participate in one thing during Philly Beer Week, and this is the one we picked. I'm generally not a meat eater, but I'm streching my dietary preferences to go back to the foods of my ancestors for one night. Can't wait!!

Lew Bryson said...

"Upstate"... Never thought that would be such a hornet's nest! Carolyn's neatly put her finger on the issue: I use NorthCentral, Central, NEPA, and I always say "Western PA" for the lands west of about Somerset...but when you've got to talk about an area that encompasses several of those regions -- which this dinner originally did, until we decided to focus on the really tiny, really new (except for Bullfrog) breweries that we did -- "upstate" becomes a handy thing to reach for. I used it in Pennsylvania Breweries to for the chapter that had to cover places as far apart as Barley Creek and Erie. Truly, no offense meant.

Deuane, the offer's appreciated, but the chance to visit the four breweries -- two of them new to me -- is too much to pass up! I'm picking up the beers this week.