Goin’ Whole Hog

As you may have guessed, we love pork and beer. So we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend DBGB’s Extrava-CAN-za Whole Hog Feast featuring just that combination. But this time the beer was in cans. We had never been to a beer dinner featuring cans. Beer sommelier Jon Langley’s inspiration for the meal was simple: “We love cans. We’re throwing a bunch into copper pots and letting people have at it.”

DBGB beer sommelier Jon Langley

It was a laid back and comfortable affair, held family style. The beer was out in copper cooking pots and poachers that acted as ice buckets. Sixpoint was the featured beer, with Bengali Tiger, Sweet Action, Apollo, Righteous Rye and the Crisp to choose from, but there were plenty others. There was Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout, Blanche de Bruxelles Witbier, Buttnernuts Pork Slap, Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale and Mama’s Little Yella Pils, and Brooklyn Brewery East India Pale Ale and Summer Ale. We were like kids in the canned beer candy store.

We started with Brooklyn East India Pale Ale, because we hadn’t gotten the chance to have it from the can yet. Crisp and fresh. We sipped and chatted with our table mates, musing to each other that family style beer dinners are, in fact, an excellent idea. We could make recommendations to each other and talk about the food.

First course was a charcuterie degustation: rillette provencale, rabbit garrigue, head cheese, terrine ham persille and foccacia bread. We paired this with Apollo, which was a nice combination. The carbonation of the beer lifted the richness of the charcuterie off our palates, while the subtle banana and clove flavors were not overpowering.

For the main dish (a showstopper) we feasted on roasted suckling pig stuffed with tomato, nicoise olive, fennel and fresh herbs; served with asparagus, spring peas, fingerling potatoes and beer braised sauerkraut. We had Sixpoint’s Crisp and Dale’s Pale Ale with this portion of the meal. Both beers stood up well to the richness of the pig.

Lastly, we had baked Alaska, which we paired with the oatmeal stout. We knew when we saw the stout at the beginning of the dinner that we would save it for last. It did not disappoint, going well with the vanilla and pistachio ice cream in the dessert.

It was fun to have all of those beers to choose from, to make our own pairings and suggest ones to our fellow diners. A fine meal at DBGB.

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