Tuesday’s beer dinner at The Vanderbilt with Peak Organic Brewing Co. (full menu here) from Maine highlighted organic beer and local food in a four course pairing menu. Each pairing was presented by Peak co-founder Mike Cadoux who started as a homebrewer with his brother Jon (currently Peak’s brewer) eleven years ago. The brothers fell started brewing organically when their homebrews picked up a new level of “crispness” that they didn’t have before. The food paired with the beers showcased ingredients from Lone Acre Farm on Long Island – a farm that takes up only one acre.
The first course – a salad comprised of raw cooked and pickled vegetables – was paired with Weiss Principal and was our favorite match of the night. The salad was full of bright ingredients and a slightly spicy herbal emulsion that was perfectly complemented by the floral nose and grassiness from the Weiss Principal’s hops from Maine.
The second course of fried sweetbreads was paired with Peak’s King Crimson imperial red ale. The beer was well-balanced with dark fruit flavors, cherry stood out to us. A duo of pork was third, paired with an IPA which was subtle and smooth.
Our second favorite pairing was dessert: panna cotta with the Espresso Amber. As Cadoux presented the beer, he mentioned that as we drank, it would change, which it definitely did. It transitioned from having strong espresso flavors to some subtle roasted malt flavors.