Beer Dinner at The Porter
May 2, 2009, 11:15 am
Filed under: Drink, Events, Restaurant Reviews | Tags: ,

In a previous post I mentioned the Terrapin/Dogfish Head beer dinner at The Porter Beer Bar in Little 5 Points.  I had never been to a beer dinner, love both of those beer companies, and had heard great things about The Porter – of course I had to go.

In case you are wondering, a beer dinner is where courses of food are paired with beers that will match their flavors.  At this particular dinner, we enjoyed 6 beers and 4 courses as follows:

Apertif: Terrapin’s 90 Shelling Firkin
A special preview of their next “side project” – a delicious Scotch Ale aged in oak.

First Course: Chilled Corn Soup-lump crab-pickled ramps & Terrapin’s Sunray Wheat


The soup itself was good.  It proved to be the best thing we would eat all night, but still wasn’t anything I would go back for.  It was smoooth and creamy, and the crab and ramps (like an onion or leek) added great flavor and texture.  It was just a little too sweet for my taste, I didn’t really want to finish the whole bowl.  The flavor profiles of the beer and soup went very well together.

The main problem with this course was in its service.  They had a great idea to first give the crab and ramps with some parsley in the bowl.  Then, they brought out the soup in large beer glasses and poured it over the crab and ramps.  I great idea in theory… I’m down with the tableside presentations, but not when you’re trying to serve 30-40 people at the same time.  Many patrons were almost finished with their beer before their soup finally arrived.

Second Course: Roasted Berkshire Pork Loin-plum jam-braised swiss chard & Terrapin’s Monk’s Revenge. 


Naturally, this is the dish I was most looking forward to, and it was a huge disappointment.  It had great potential – the swiss chard and plum jam were good – but the pork was horrible.  This was something I would expect more from a national chain like Applebee’s or Friday’s on their 2 for $20 menu.  They tried to mask the poor quality of the pork by wrapping it in bacon and topping it with the plum jam.  Once again, I found myself leaving a significant portion on the plate.  It still went well with the beer though, a Belgian style IPA.

Third Course: Asparagus Salad-shaved gruyere-hazelnuts & Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch


Hmmm… cold asparagus with cheese and hazelnuts.  Unappealing, unexciting, unimaginative, BORING.  At this point I’ve given up hope.  I don’t know how it was supposed to pair with the beer either.  You should try this beer if you get the chance, its recipe is based on one found on ancient Egyptian tablets.

**I need to mention that at this point in my meal, someone was passing around a basket of Porter’s garlic fries.  This is something they’ve become known for, and they were AWESOME. 

Fourth Course: Local Rhubarb Tart-jasmine cream-ginger & Dogfish Head’s Black and Blue


…  Another boring dish that could have been easily improved.  The crust was thick and dry, and the cream was pretty boring.  Also, it’s hard to cut rhubarb with a fork – if you are going to put it in a tart you should chop it up a little more so you can get that flavor with each bite!  Once again a decent pairing with the beer.

Digestif: Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron
An American Brown Ale aged in Palo Santo wood.  Very nice!

The beer dinner experience itself was very nice, mostly thanks to Terrapin and Dogfish Head.  Throughout the dinner they had pre-arranged toasts where people would stand up and express their love of beer in a little poem.  The main theme was support of the craft beer movement, something I really enjoy.  I’ll go back to The Porter for a review of items from their regular menu, but they better impress after the food I had tonight.


Beer Dinner at The Porter
March 31, 2009, 11:25 pm
Filed under: Drink, Events | Tags: , ,

On Wednesday, April 29th The Porter Beer Bar in Little Five Points will be hosting a beer dinner featuring Terrapin Beer Company from Athens and Dogfish Head Brewery from Delaware.

 Terrapin will be featuring thier latest “side project” – their series of creative brews that are released for a limited time only.  This one is called Monk’s Revenge, and is a Belgian IPA.  They will also have the SunRay Wheat and a SECRET cask ale.

I haven’t been to The Porter yet, and Terrapin is one of my favorite craft breweries… hmmm might have to go!  More info coming soon!