I attended a Samuel Adams beer pairing dinner at Brew 22 in Harrisburg. This was my second beer pairing dinner, so I had a good idea what to expect and how the night would go.
The first beer served was Sam Adams Imperial White with Orange Juice (called a Sam-mossa). Immediately, I picked up an orange juice aroma with the beer and noticed that there were orange pieces floating in the beer. I thought it was a pretty good mix at first, but the orange juice sort of kills the finish. Note, I have had the Imperial White before, and I really enjoyed it. The beer was paired with egg benedict over crab cake and muffin. I thought it paired extremely well with the crab and citrus working together. The combo left a sweet taste on the side of the mouth.
The second beer served was Sam Adams Black Lager. The beer pours a dark brown with a light tan head. The taste consists of toasted malts and chocolate, which also matched the aroma. The beer was paired with pit beef. I thought the smoked BBQ really played well with the toasted malts and the sweet buttered break brought out the chocolate flavors even more.
The third course served Sam Adams Boston Lager and paired it with calamari. The beer has an amber color with a nice balance between the hops and malts. In the pairing with the Boston Lager, the bitey cocktail sauce mellowed with the hops. However, I thought that this course didn't pair without the cocktail sauce, but using the cocktail sauce provided an excellent pairing.
The fourth course poured Sam Adams Cherry Wheat with Pork Wellington. The beer has a reddish amber color with lots of cherry flavor and a light finish. In the pairing with the pork wellington, the cherry and pork worked will together, especially when I got to the cherries in the pork. The cherry in the beer provided a light accent to flavors in the pork and made this an enjoyable dish.
The final course pair Sam Adams Coastal Wheat with crème brulee. The beer pours a pale yellow and has a light wheat aroma. The light orange flavor played with the citrus in crème brulee well and made a very enjoyable dessert. The conversation at the table focused on how disappointing the crème brulee was on its own, however I thought the pairing covered up an shortcomings.