On February 19th, several friends and I went to a Tröegs Brewing Company beer and dinner pairing at Willow Restaurant. I’ve been to several of beer and wine pairing dinners there before, and it’s always a fun experience. There is always someone from the brewery/winery to walk attendees through the tasting, and often the restaurant will unveil a new dish or serve something that is made specially for the tasting. In fact, one of my favorite dishes at Willow, the Pigs in a Blanket (a Jamie Stachowski French Garlic Sausage wrapped in house-made puff pastry, baked until golden brown, and served with a black garlic aioli) was introduced at a Flying Dog Brewery beer pairing event I attend there in last fall.
Sadly, the restaurant wasn’t as organized with Tröegs dinner, although that was definitely no fault of the brewery. There wasn’t a new dish unveiling, the food arrival and beer pouring wasn’t timed well, and there was general confusion through much of the event. That said, the Tröegs representative was very knowledgeable and friendly, and he did his best to try and work with the chaos that seemed to be happening. All in all, the food was good and the beer was delicious, so, while the event wasn’t as smoothly run as previous ones, a good time was still had by all.
Tröegs Pale Ale
American Pale Ale
Medium copper color
Grapefruit, limes, and some maltiness mixed with a hint of something floral.
Medium bodied and refreshing.
Overall, this “welcome beer” was a good way to start the evening. It cleared the palate, even if it wasn’t something out of the ordinary.
Tröegs Nugget Nectar
American Amber/Red Ale
Available Seasonally (February-March)
Medium-to-deep amber with strong orange flecks
Apricot, hints of pine resin
A strong bitterness that works with the body and flavors of the beer. Not for the non-hops lover.
Pairing = a creamy oyster chowder with winter vegetables. The strong bitterness helped cut through the creaminess of the chowder, which made it a nice pairing.
Tröegs Hopback Amber Ale
American Amber/Red Ale
Deep amber color
Some citrus, pine, and dust
Bitterness and sweetness, but in a way that isn’t balanced or mixed together
Pairing = the Smokehouse Flatbread, which was made with house smoked pulled chicken, creamy leeks, fried shallots, thyme, and Ilchester smoked cheddar. The beer worked with its strong flavors. That said, this was the weakest course all the way around, as neither the beer nor the food left me very excited.
Tröegs Perpetual IPA
Imperial Pale Ale
Grapefruit, hints of spiciness and smokiness
Paring = Seared Day Boat Scallops with goat cheese and fines herb risotto and a blood orange vinaigrette
Tröegs Tröegenator Double Bock
Medium brown with flecks of amber and a beige, foamy head
Molasses mixed with breadiness and hints of nutmeg, figs, and cream
Medium-to-full bodied with nice balance
Pairing = Duo of Duck, which was a duck breast with duck confit, spiked french green lentils, turnip grating, and a Tröegenator-infused duck jus
Tröegs Dream Weaver
Hazy medium gold
Yeasty with bananas and cloves with hints of white pepper
Pairing = Kate’s Banana Bread Pudding with salted caramel ice cream and spiced pecans
Question of the day: Have you gone to a beer pairing dinner? What brewery was it and what did you think?