Dogfish Head – Sierra Nevada Life & Limb Release Dinner at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain
It’s not every day you get to attend the release dinner for an amazing collaborative beer. When I heard about the Life & Limb collaboration beer between Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada and their east coast release dinner was going to be 20 minutes away, I had to get there. Not only beer from two amazing breweries, but food and the pairing done by Bobby Flay at Bar Americain. According to Sam Calagione(Dogfish Head) and Ken Grossman(Sierra Nevada) Bobby Flay had been working on this menu and beer pairing for the last month and it was a great meal! I think for the most part, I’ll let the pictures of the food and beer do the talking!
The first coarse of this 5 course dinner was Tuna Tartar. A very spicy, yet delicious raw tuna paired up with the Limb and Life. Limb and Life is basically the session beer of the Life and Limb collaboration. It is a 5.4% abv beer created from the second running’s of the Life and Limb mash. A big thank you here to the waitstaff at Bar Americain, my wife is allergic to seafood, she asked them to skip this course for her because of the allergy. A few minutes later they came back with this giant bowl of the most amazing pumpkin soup.
Asparagus Chopped Salad, Vermont Cheddar, and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette, this was a beautiful salad and our second course. All the herbs, spices, and vegetables was a beautiful companion to the Dogfish Head Sah’ tea. The Sierra Nevada Pale ale, while the most pedestrian of the beers we had this night, was equally well paired. The citrus and herbal qualities of the beer was a wonderful match with the salad and dressing. To polar opposite beers, but worked equally well with the dish.
The next course, unfortunately (or fortunately) for my wife, was Red Snapper with Plantains, Black Beans, and Cilantro paired with Sierra Nevada Kellerman Hefeweizen and the Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA. Since my wife would not be able to eat the snapper, she politely refused the plate and for a second time they brought her an amazing substitute, this time a plate of vegetables, cooked a bunch of different ways. I was actually jealous of her food, until I tried my snapper. This meal was meant for the Sierra Nevada Kellerweizen, the clove and banana esters in the beer was a spot on perfect match for this fish and plantains. I wasn’t sure how well the 90 minute IPA fit into this meal, but what the heck. It is probably one of my all time favorite beers, so I was happy to drink it.
The fourth course and by far my favorite, Lamb Porterhouse Chop with Mustard Barbecue Sauce and Sweet Potato Gratin. This was paired Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale and Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. For this dish the meat was the main player, the beer complimented the beef instead of the other way around. But, the Celebration, as always, was top notch – a delicious beer! Most of you how read my blog, know I’m am not a huge fan of pumpkin beer. With that said, the Punkin Ale and the Sweet Pototes were made for one another and it worked fairly well with the lamb.
The final course, the apex of the night, what we all came for, the unavailing of Life & Limb. The 10.2% abv strong dark beer was paired up with an equally intense desert, a German Chocolate Cake! Wow and Wow. The Life & Limb is a lush, sweet, big bold beer. I’m not a huge Chocoholic like my wife, that cake was like chocolate wrapped in chocolate, deep fried in chocolate and then smothered with chocolate. My wife loved it, I loved the beer. This will be one of those beers that is going to age very well. In fact was one of the goals behind the beer so both ken Grossmans Kids and Sam Calagione’s kids could enjoy this beer when they took over the breweries.
All around this was a wonderful event to be at, celebrating the release of Life and Limb with the families of Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head. Ken and Sam crafted two amazing beers, Life & Limb and Limb & Life. The food and pairings were delicious! Finally, the waitstaff at Bobby Flay’s bar Americain were wonderful! We had such a great night and can’t wait for more events to come.