Category Archives: Beer and Food

Half Moon Bay Brewing Hosts 4th Annual Coastside Brewfest, Plus Fall Beers and Events

Credit: Half Moon Bay Brewing

Coastside Brewfest

The fourth annual Coastside Brewfest – presented by the Mavericks Community Foundation – is set for this Saturday, Oct. 21 from 1pm to 5pm at the waterfront parking lot of Half Moon Bay Brewing Company (390 Capistrano Rd.).

This year’s list of nearly two dozen participating breweries – plus a cidery – includes:

  • Alpha Acid
  • Altamont
  • Alvarado Street
  • Barebottle
  • Bartlett Hall
  • Golden State Cider
  • Deschutes Brewery
  • Discretion
  • Drakes
  • E.J Phair
  • Faction
  • Fieldwork
  • Fort Point
  • Hop Dogma Brewing Co.
  • Marin Brewing Company
  • Morgan Territory
  • New Bohemia
  • Novel
  • Pine Street
  • Sacrilege Brewery + Kitchen
  • Santa Clara Valley
  • Sudwerk
  • Temescal
  • Track 7

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company will be open for dining throughout the event. Additionally, local food will be offered including Seville Tapas, Spicoli Pizza and barbecue by American Legion Post 474.

Tickets to Coastal Brewfest are $30 in advance and available for purchase at the brewfest’s Eventbrite page. Tickets are $35 at the door, and designated driver tickets are $10. Proceeds will benefit the Mavericks Community Foundation seeking to promote the San Mateo County coastside and Coastside Hope.

Fall Brews

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company has re-released three signature beers:

Take it to the Limit Barleywine, an American-Style Barleywine displays a deep amber color, with Crystal and Munich malts presenting strong fruity esters in the aroma while American hops identify this as an American take on a classic. The high alcohol is evident, adding to the complexity of this smooth barleywine, and combines with a two-month aging process in stainless steel to result in a smooth dark beer. 14% ABV & 84 IBUs.

Pumpkin Harvest Ale, a full-bodied Amber Ale is made with locally grown sugar pie pumpkins that are roasted with a secret blend of spices added to the brew kettle, resulting in a subtle pumpkin pie spice flavor balanced by a biscuity maltiness. 6.3% ABV & 23 IBUs.

Papa Juice Old Ale, a small batch, limited release old ale, aged in Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels. The deep ruby red color lets you know you’re in for a smooth ride, while the American hops add a well-distinguished dryness to the finish. The sweetness of the beer has been transformed by the oak in the barrel, resulting in an easy drinking old ale. 13.1% ABV.

Crowler Launch

Guests at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company will be able to take beer to-go and enjoy the quality-saving powers of the can with a 32 oz. crowler. For the unfamiliar, a crowler is the can’s take on a growler, allowing breweries and taprooms to fill and seal aluminum cans on-demand. The containers combine the flexibility and portability of growlers with the quality-preserving properties of a can.

Pumpkin Menu

On the menu through October is a special pumpkin menu created by chef Fred Godinez, featuring butternut squash soup, brussels sprouts salad with pumpkin vinaigrette and desserts including pumpkin ice cream.

Halloween Party

The annual Halloween Party takes place Saturday, Oct. 28 with live music from 7pm to 10pm featuring The Bonedrivers. The annual costume contest begins at 8pm, where guests of all ages are welcome. Prizes will be awarded for a variety of categories, including most original costume, best group costume, trendiest costume, scariest and cutest.

Pumpkin Harvest Dinner

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s annual Harvest Dinner is back by popular demand and will take place Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 6pm at the Mavericks Event Center. The dinner – prepared by chef Godinez – celebrates the farms and breweries on the San Mateo County coast and will feature local Pescadero farmer Simms Organics and brewmaster James Costa’s hand-crafted Pumpkin Harvest Ale.

5th Annual Mountain View Oktoberfest

My favorite local Oktoberfest celebration is set to take place this weekend – the fifth annual Mountain View Oktoberfest presented by Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant and the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce.

The event will be held on Saturday (Sep. 30) and Sunday (Oct. 1) from 11am to 7pm each day in the open-air parking lot located directly behind Steins at Bryant and Dana Streets, one block west of Castro St. The weather looks to be picture perfect.

Mountain View Oktoberfest will feature traditional German food, German beers and live entertainment, including music by Big Lou’s Accordion, The SF German Band and Alpiners USA. Check the MV Oktoberfest website for the entertainment schedule.

There’ll also be an expansive Oktoberfest tent, traditional Oktoberfest wood tables and benches for communal sitting, pretzel eating and stein holding contests, traditional songs and dance, as well as bouncy houses and face painting for kids.

Steins owner Ted Kim shares: “We’re happy to be celebrating our fifth year hosting the Mountain View Oktoberfest! Since its inception, the festival has grown to become a city staple and one of the most anticipated events of the year.

“This year at the Mountain View Oktoberfest guests will be able to choose from seven different beer offerings: six authentic styles from German beer houses and a special local brew combining sweet Munich malts and west coast hops.

“Additionally, there will be plenty of eats as Teske’s Germania and others serve up delicious German cuisine.

“Come out and join us for another fun-filled Oktoberfest! All ages welcome!”

Food & Beer

A variety of food will be available for purchase from four different vendors, including traditional German dishes from German restaurant Teske’s Germania.

German (and German-style) beers include:

  • Doppelbock Dunkel – Andechs
  • Pilsner – Paulaner
  • Helles Lager – Weltenburger
  • Oktoberfest – Hofbräuhaus
  • Grapefruit Radler – Steigl
  • Hefeweizen – Weihenstephaner
  • Hoptoberfest – South Bay 

Prices and Ticket Information

  • $11 for 0.5-liter commemorative stein; requires 1 drink ticket to fill
  • $16 for 1-liter commemorative stein; requires 2 drink tickets to fill
  • $25 for 1-liter boot (limited quantities); requires 2 drink tickets to fill

Drink tickets: $9 for 1 drink ticket and $35 for 4 tickets.

Food: $6-$15 (depending on the dish).

Charity

A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit SOAR – Student Outreach Award Resource – a partner charity with the Chamber of Commerce. SOAR is known throughout the community for its financial help and scholarship awards for high school and community college students looking to advance their education.

Scenes from Scott’s Seafood ‘Best of Summer’ Beer Dinner Featuring Santa Clara Valley Brewing

Scott’s Seafood in downtown San Jose held their latest beer pairing dinner earlier this summer – a special beer-and-food pairing event.

The late July weather – plus the gorgeous views form the sixth-floor, rooftop patio – provided a picture-perfect backdrop.

The sold-out dinner featured beers from San Jose’s Santa Clara Valley Brewing.

Scott’s Seafood general manager Marc Buhagiar helped pour SCV Brewing’s refreshing and crisp Dry Creek Blonde, which accompanied a generous cheese and charcuterie platter.

SCV Brewing’s Alviso Mills Hefeweizen – with its aromas and flavors of cloves and bananas – paired nicely with the Scallop Crudo, thinly sliced raw sea scallop with a citrus soy sauce.

SCV Brewing’s Electric Tower IPA complemented the Steak Tartare, served with arugula and crispy shallots.

The Melon Gazpacho was unexpected and quite the unique treat.

Marc and Joann Vaega, Scott’s Seafood marketing director, helped facilitate a fun raffle.

Sitting with friends this lovely evening made the dinner extra special.

Among the many having a good time were Jake and Carl. Cheers, guys!

SCV Brewing’s New Almaden Red is a versatile food-pairing beer and matched well with the Halibut, served with a saffron risotto and mushroom ragout topped with basil pesto.

The delicious Electric Tower IPA – with its hints of citrus, tropical fruit and pine – also has a radiant appearance.

SCV Brewing’s Tom Clark shared a few words about his brewery.

The Chef’s Surprise was the sublime Wild Berry Panna Cotta with a berry compote, which was paired with SCV Brewing’s excellent Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Loma Prieta (Oatmeal Rye Imperial Stout). This course and pairing was a particular favorite among the guests that I polled.

Tom and Coleen Clark.

Some of the Scott’s Seafood crew. All provided attentive, top-notch service. Great job everyone! Cheers!

Food and beverage director Sammy Reyes (left) talking with a couple of satisfied guests.

SCV Brewing Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Loma Prieta capped off another glorious beer dinner event at Scott’s Seafood.

Save the Date – Oct. 30 Rum Cocktail Pairing Dinner

Scott’s next special pairing dinner looks to be a very interesting – and tasty – event that will feature rum cocktails.

Scott’s will present a four-course rum cocktail-and-food pairing dinner featuring Angostura rums. The dinner is set for Monday, Oct. 30.



Gott’s Roadside Hosts Tap Takeover with Dogfish Head Brewery

Passing along the following info. regarding Gott’s Roadside:

Tap Takeover Event

Gott’s is partnering with Dogfish Head Brewery for tap takeovers at all four of their Bay Area locations.

The event at their Palo Alto location in Town & Country Village takes place on Wednesday, Sep. 13 from 5pm to 8pm. In addition to their popular 90 Minute IPA, the brewery will also be pouring their Flesh & Blood IPA and SeaQuench Ale (Gose).

Bonus: Gott’s will also be making special beer-battered fish & chips using the 90 Minute IPA.

New Menu Lineup for a Limited Time

Tapping into summer’s seasonal end, Gott’s culinary team has put a uniquely Californian twist on dishes like crisp fried zucchini in herb flecked batter, Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta slathered with lemony Bellwether Farms ricotta, and Coho Salmon Sandwich topped with avocado, arugula, bacon, balsamic glazed onions, and lemon aioli.

   

The newest indulgence is the hand-spun Land of Milk & Honey Shake made with Three Twins organic Land of Milk & Honey ice cream, hand-spun with Clover organic milk and a honey drizzle.

Available for a limited time only from Sep. 7 to Oct. 4.

About Gott’s Roadside

Gott’s Roadside was founded in 1999 in Saint Helena by brothers Joel and Duncan Gott. The menu emphasizes locally sourced ingredients with a modern approach to American roadside cuisine. Gott’s makes cheeseburgers, hot dogs and hand-spun shakes to order, using Niman Ranch beef, Fearless Franks, and Three Twins ice cream while creating twists on California classics with sushi-grade Ahi Poke tacos and seasonal salads.

Gott’s Roadside’s commitment to local sourcing also extends to the glass with a California-centric list of wines and beers. Eighteen years later, Gott’s has expanded from its original Saint Helena location to include others at Napa’s Oxbow Market, San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace, and Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village.



Scott’s Seafood Presents ‘Best of Summer’ Beer Dinner Featuring Santa Clara Valley Brewing

Photo from last fall's beer dinner at Scott's Seafood
Photo from last fall’s beer dinner at Scott’s Seafood

The special beer dinners at Scott’s Seafood in downtown San Jose (185 Park Ave.) have proven time after time to be can’t-miss events. We’re talking consistently excellent food-and-beer pairings, stellar service , warm vibes and the gorgeous outdoor rooftop venue.

Following up their previous beer dinner last fall, Scott’s Seafood recently announced their next one – set for Monday, July 24 from 6pm-9pm – featuring San Jose’s own Santa Clara Valley Brewing.

The upcoming “Best of Summer” beer dinner will be a truly local, San Jose affair; Santa Clara Valley Brewing is located less than two miles south of the restaurant.

And a quick peek at the weather forecast portends a lovely summer evening.

The Five-Course Menu

Food and beverage director Sammy Reyes and the culinary team have created the following five-course dinner menu:

1st course/opening reception:

  • Charcuterie and Cheese Platter
  • Beer Pairing: Dry Creek Blonde

2nd Course:

  • Scallop Crudo: Thinly sliced raw Sea Scallop served with citrus wasabi soy sauce
  • Beer Pairing: Alviso Hefeweizen

3rd Course:

  • Steak Tartare served with arugula and crispy shallots in a citrus dressing
  • Beer Pairing: Electric Tower IPA

4th Course:

  • Halibut served with a saffron risotto and a mushroom ragout topped with basil pesto.
  • Beer Pairing: New Almaden Red

5th Course:

  • Chefs sweet surprise
  • Paired with: Loma Prieta Rye Stout

Dinner Tickets

Tickets for the beer dinner are $60 dollars per person and available for purchase at the dinner’s Eventbright page.

Consider getting tickets sooner than later as previous beer dinners have sold out.

As is the case with any good beer dinner, brewery representatives will be on hand to introduce the beer pairings and to answer any questions about Santa Clara Valley Brewing and their offerings.

 

About Scott’s Seafood

Scott’s Seafood San Jose is a Bay Area tradition in the heart of Downtown San Jose since 1986, offering a diverse dining destination in both cuisine and setting. Experience a friendly and relaxed environment to enjoy an intimate meal or a group gathering. With their modern lounge, stunning patio views, unique menu, and true hospitality, their American regional cuisine features the freshest seafood, pasta, chicken dishes, and USDA prime, aged steaks. Scott’s Seafood offers parking validation for its guests.



Scenes from Berkeley’s Pacific Standard Taproom, June 2017

We visited my alma mater UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) on a gorgeous Saturday morning last month.

We try to get out to Berkeley as often as we can – checking out various places in and around the city – but it had been an unusually long time since our previous visit.

It’s been amazing seeing the development taking place around the campus in recent years.

A particular highlight during our visit was checking out Pacific Standard Taproom, located just a couple of blocks from the campus at 2055 Center St.

Pacific Standard is the first outpost for Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and opened last October.

We arrived right at the open and were welcomed in with a friendly smile.

On tap were beers from Half Moon Bay Brewing as well as from other local breweries.

Pacific Standard also offers ciders, wines and a selection of small bites featuring fresh and local ingredients. Weekly specials include discounts on growler fills on Mondays.

We opted for the four-ounce tasters, including (from left to right) The Good Beer Blackberry Oro, Half Moon Bay Brewing Apricot and Passionfruit Belgian Blonde, Two Rivers Ciders Mango Cider, Half Moon Bay Brewing Honey Ale, Faction Smoked-N-Oaked and Faction Anomaly Milk Stout (Nitro).

Foodwise, we ordered House-Pickled Seasonal Veggies.

Charcuterie Board.

Grilled Cheese with Chips and Salsa.

We ordered additional tasters of Barebottle Galaxy Dust and High Water Campfire Stout (Nitro).

To pair with House-Baked Pretzel Knots with Cheese Sauce and Mustard.

As we enjoyed our beer and food, it quickly became clear how special Pacific Standard is, thanks mainly to the excellent and knowledgeable service, a great beer selection (including bottled offerings), tasty bites and the charming space.

Wifey and our younger kid both raved about the food, and we made sure to offer up our compliments to Jana, who’s been with Pacific Standard since its opening.

Cheers to Jana and Sophia (who had just recently joined Pacific Standard)! They helped make our visit extra enjoyable.

Whenever we visit Berkeley, a stop at Pacific Standard will be a must.

Switching gears a bit, we recently enjoyed a couple limited-release offerings from Half Moon Bay Brewing.

Red Sails in the Sunset Flemish-Style Red Ale with Cherries marks the third release from Half Moon Bay Brewing’s Ocho Barril Series of Sours.

It’s a Flanders Red-inspired beer aged in pinot noir barrels for a total of 18 months, with the last 4 months aged on tart cherries from Michigan.

Coming in at 7.3% ABV, it’s a bright, tart and delicious beer with subtle oak flavor and enjoyable complexity.

A limited number of bottles of Red Sails in the Sunset are available at Pacific Standard.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Papa Juice Old Ale is a small batch release aged six months in Redemption Rye Whiskey barrels.

The flavors are punctuated by notes of dates, maple, molasses, whiskey and oak.

Papa Juice is an exquisite, smooth sipper that belies its 13.1% ABV content.

With special releases like these two excellent offerings, brewmaster James Costa and his team continue their output of standout beers.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy



Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant Opens Second Location in Cupertino

Photo credit: Steins

After a series of soft openings, along with some last-minute construction updates, Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant officially opens today in Cupertino (10088 N. Wolfe Rd., Ste. 130).

Located just down the road from the new Apple campus, the Cupertino site marks the second location for Steins restaurant.

An official ribbon cutting ceremony in honor of today’s grand opening is set to take place at 3:30pm with complimentary appetizers and beer tasters to be served afterwards.

Photo credit: Steins

Owner Ted Kim and executive chef Colby Reade have retained the original Mountain View location’s beer-focused beverage program (30 draft beers; 20 year round staples and 10 rotating seasonal brews) and made-from-scratch food menu.

Photo credit: Steins

The interior features an updated industrial-inspired atmosphere. More below from a recent media release:

The Space

Steins again enlisted Marc Dimalanta of D-Scheme Studios to head the architectural design of the new space. The restaurant interior boasts a 6400 ft² dining room accented with bright copper, reclaimed wood panels and filament bulbs glowing on metal-worked light fixtures for an industrial interpretation of the classic European beer hall. The space’s earth-toned metal highlights are juxtaposed with a lush living wall designed by Habitat Horticulture to bring a touch of the traditional outdoor biergarten inside.

Paired with an accompanying 1568 ft² al fresco patio, the entire restaurant space is reservable and can also accommodate smaller private events as sectioned parties.

Photo credit: Steins

The Beer

Akin to its Mountain View location, Steins Cupertino employs an innovative direct-draw beer  draft system designed for dispensing each pour under optimal conditions for near-perfect flavor and consistency. Guests can expect a great international beer list with a focus on local craft brewers. Steins offers 30 draft beers; 20 year round staples and 10 rotating seasonal brews.

In addition to the myriad craft and import beers on draft, Steins Cupertino offers  a robust wine program as well as a full-bar and seasonal craft cocktails.

Upholding a high standard of beer service, all front-of-house staff must successfully complete Steins’ stringent beer training program. Additionally, all bar staff must successfully complete and pass the Cicerone Certified Beer Server program.

Photo credit: Steins

The Food

Executive Chef Colby M Reade (Hawthorne Lane) parallels the quality characteristic of Steins’ ambitious beer selection with an all-scratch kitchen featuring New American comfort food. The opening menu at Steins Cupertino includes favorites like the Steins Burger made from a house-ground blend of dry-aged short rib, brisket and sirloin, the Fresh Baked Pretzel with caraway beer mustard and the Sonoma Lamb Trio’s brown butter green beans and salsa vert.

The kitchen will open with lunch, happy hour, and dinner with brunch to follow shortly.

Photo credit: Steins

About Steins

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant is the vision of Bay Area native Ted Kim. Kim has more than 20 years of small business experience, including his tremendous success with Northern California’s Paris Baguette stores.

The Steins concept is a modern American take on the classic German biergarten, infusing rustic elements of nature with brilliant contemporary architecture. Each location offers the perfect escape for guests to drink and be merry.

With locations in Mountain View and Cupertino, Steins is open everyday from 11am – 11pm and until 11:30pm on Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit www.steinsbeergarden.com and visit the restaurants on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.



Uproar Brewing Company to Open June 14

The wait is over. Uproar Brewing Company (439 S. First St.) has finally announced their opening date via their Facebook page earlier this morning:

“Words we’ve been waiting to say for too long… We’re opening June 14. Drop by and say hello.”

It certainly has been a long wait, and after a series of delays and changes, Uproar’s low-key update is sure to excite many, including local beer fans as well as folks eager to see the continued growth of downtown San Jose and the SoFA district in particular.

I had the good fortune to attend a preview dinner earlier this spring, and the event indeed portended a positive outlook for the brewery and restaurant and the surrounding area.

In becoming the newest member of the South Bay brewing community, Uproar will look to enhance the local beer scene by offering more options for beer fans with an emphasis on good beer and good food.

Very happy for the Uproar team and look forward to visiting soon.

Update: Below is the opening menu shared by Uproar a handful of hours after their initial opening date announcement:





Brewmaster Dinner at Stanley’s Sports Bar Featuring Coronado Brewing Company

Passing along info. regarding an upcoming beer-and-food pairing dinner at Stanley’s Sports Bar, located inside the Sharks Ice facility in San Jose (1500 S. 10th St.).

The four-course dinner takes place Monday, May 22 at 6:30pm and features select offerings from Coronado Brewing Company.

Beer dinners such as this one are not new at Stanley’s, and I have it on very good authority – I haven’t been to one yet – that they’re consistently done well.

A peek at the menu – prepared by Art Cardoza – offers up what looks to be quite a tasty affair.

Menu

First Course:

  • Spicy Cornbread Bites with honey butter
  • Paired with Waylaid White IPA

Second Course:

  • Caramelized Bacon with roasted pineapple
  • Paired with Stem to Stern Batch #1 Hoppy Red

Third Course:

  • Oven Baked Corn Beef Brisket with roasted carrots
  • Paired with Mermaid’s Red

Dessert Course:

  • Citrus Ginger Cake with spiced orange compote
  • Paired with Orange Avenue Wit

Tickets are $38.75 per person, not including tax and gratuity.

For reservations, contact Dan at danglikowski@sharksice.com or 408-999-6786.

Scenes from Spring Fling Pairing Dinner Featuring Hitachino at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant

Simply put, the “Spring Fling” pairing dinner featuring Hitachino out of Japan’s Kiuchi Brewery – held last month at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant – was epic. It was festive, warm and intimate, elevated and delicious… and I could go on, but instead, let’s just skip ahead to the photos from the memorable dinner.

Hitachino Nest White Ale (Witbier). Beautiful tablescape.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 02

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 03

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 04

Executive chef Colby Reade introducing the first pairing of the evening.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 05

A Queen City-inspired cocktail featuring Kiuchi Brewery’s unique Kikusakari Asamurasaki – Red Rice Sake – served with a savory cream puff with creme fraiche, caviar and chai blossom.

Very much enjoyed the sweet and savory combination, and the mini-bursts of salt from the caviar provided an extra pop of flavor and texture.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 06

Bar manager Ryan Hummel detailing the delicious cocktail – whiskey, lemon juice, amaro and grapefruit liqueur.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 07

Second course: Mumm Napa Brut Prestige (Sparkling Wine) paired with Japanese Style Egg Custard with shiitake mushrooms, spring garlic and dashi.

In addition to the tasty flavors, the textures stood out with this pairing. The bubbly mouthfeel of the sparkling wine helped balance the creamy custard and mushrooms.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 08

We then got to try the Red Rice Sake from the earlier cocktail by itself. Fruit and herbal aroma and flavor notes stood out.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 09

Third course: Hitachino Nest Saison Du Japon paired with Apple and Asian Pear Salad with white miso vinaigrette, mizuna and daikon radish.

The lightly sweet yet tart and citrusy Saison Du Japon matched well with the fruits and vegetables from the dish, as well as with the acidity from the delicious and abundant dressing.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 10

Manager Lynna Nguyen checking in with guests Chris and Van.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 11b

A surprise pour of Kiuchi No Shizuku, a unique whiskey-like spirit distilled from Hitachino Nest White Ale. Fine and clean tasting.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 12

Cheers with Chris and Van. It was great meeting them – couldn’t have asked for better tablemates.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 16

Before the fourth course, chef Reade brought out the service and culinary teams behind the pairing dinner.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 13

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 14

He expressed great appreciation for the teams, including among others manager Rachel Rohrenbach, chefs (and brothers) Paco and Cheke Guzman, Ryan and manager Toby Yi.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 15

Hitachino Nest Extra High XH (Oak-Aged Strong Ale).

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 17

Ryan imparting knowledge about both the Hitachino Nest Red Rice and Hitachino Nest Extra High XH ales.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 18

Kurobuta Pork Belly with sesame wonton noodles, miso au jus, toybox mushrooms and sauce gribiche.

The malty heft from the Extra High XH was in sync with the pork belly while the carbonation and the beer’s dark fruit profile cut nicely through the protein’s richness. I enjoyed the sauce right down to the last drop.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 19

A bonus plate of Gulf Prawn Paella with mussels, clams, chorizo, crispy rice cake, smoked white fish, bottarga and spiced tomato sauce. Exquisite.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 20

Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Milk Sweet Stout) paired with Yakitori Chocolate Cake with macerated raspberries, sour cherry and truffle cream.

The slightly roasty bitterness from the Sweet Stout – plus its dry finish – provided a well-balanced counterpoint to the very moist and sweet chocolate cake.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 21

I thought all the pairings were successful and showcased in delicious fashion the versatility of beer given its wide variety of aroma, flavor and mouthfeel characteristics. The kicker is the carbonation aspect of beer (Andrea has previously written about this aspect) that helps refresh the palate with every sip; food and beer can be enjoyed and appreciated to the fullest.

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 01

Steins Hitachino Beer Dinner 22

Steins next beer-and-food pairing event won’t be for a while, as a lot of energy will be devoted to the opening of Steins Cupertino. The memories from this one – good company, roaring laughter, excellent service, warm vibes and delicious pairings – will suffice in sustaining me (barely) until their next one.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy