Second Bi-Monthly Beer Tasting & Dinner

3 Feb

TastingGlassesBack in November I decided that I needed to recruit more people into my new beer-drinking hobby. Especially when I found a Bud Light Lime in my brother-in-law’s fridge and he thought it qualified as “good beer.” (Normally I try not to judge other people’s beer tastes but this stuff seriously tastes like Sprite with a hint of beer.) So, I decided to start hosting a Bi-Monthly Beer Tasting & Dinner.

Just as a side-note, Bi-Monthly can be either twice a month OR every other month. How dumb is that? 

The idea of the tasting and dinner is that everyone brings 20 ounces of a particular type of beer to taste and then I make dinner and pair each “course” with another beer. The first dinner was in December and we tasted Pale Ales. It was an absolute blast and I think everyone was impressed with the variety in the beers we tasted.

For the second tasting and dinner I picked Porters. There’s something about Porters to me that are cozy and rich and just make for a good winter beer. We ended up with eight different Porters to try.


  • KBC Porter by Kennebunkport Brewing Co.: I liked this one  and thought it was easy to drink and not too heavy. Maybe not super memorable but I’m glad that the people who brought this one brought two and one is still in my fridge.
  • Grand Imperial Porter by Browar Amber: I thought this one was more syrupy and almost reminded me of a wine or cough syrup. I didn’t hate it but I won’t get it again.
  • Smoked Porter by Alaskan Brewing Co.: I’ve actually had my eye on this beer for awhile so I was really excited that someone brought it. However, I thought it basically tasted like eating a campfire. I can see how that might be your thing, but it isn’t mine. Someone else said it reminded them of smoked salmon in a can.
  • Smoked Porter by Stone Brewing Co.: I liked this smoked porter better than Alaskan’s but it had kind of a funny after taste for me. I’m beginning to think I’m not a huge fan of smoked beers…
  • Double Nut Brown by Mammoth Brewing Company: By far my favorite! A little bit chocolately and basically delicious.
  • Black Boss Porter by BOSS Browar Witnica: I’d actually had this before and remembered not loving it and the second impression was basically the same. This is a Baltic Porter so the alcohol content was way higher than some of the others (9.4%) and you could taste it.
  • Taddy Porter by Samuel Smith’s: I didn’t love this one. And I didn’t take good tasting notes so I couldn’t tell you why…
  • Porter Black Marlin by Ballast Point: This beer was pretty good. It wasn’t particularly complex but I enjoyed it. (Someone recycled the bottle before I could get a picture.) RatingSheetCloseUp

I looked back on my tasting card to write up my impressions and I’m going to have to work on doing a better
job in the future. As I tasted more and more beers my comments went from “Chocolate-like with an undertone of roasted marshmellow” to “Yay, tastes good.” Clearly I will never become an actual beer judge.

The rest of the evening went off swimmingly. I had plenty of beer to go with our main dishes and, if I do say so myself, the decorations and table settings were adorable! I tried not to go too overboard on the hearts but it is almost impossible to find Valentine’s Day decor that doesn’t look like an army of cupids attacked.

MenuFor the first course we had Roasted Potato Stacks with a Broccoli Salad. The potato stacks may or may not have gotten a little extra roasty and the smoke detector may or may not have gone off, but they tasted good. (The damn muffin tins I baked them in are still soaking…) This was paired with Fuller’s ESB by Fuller Smith & Turner PLC.

The second course was a Vegetarian Cornmeal Chili with Cornbread Muffins. And except that I realized after the fact I never brought out the toppings, no problem there. I paired this with Downtown Brown by Lost Coast Brewery. In the name of research I was forced to try MANY brown ales before settling on this one.

Dessert was Chocolate Chip Shortbread paired with Wee Heavy, brewed by Belhaven Brewery Co. Ltd. These are now a go-to cookie for me.

All the beers for dinner:


Tasting area before things really got started:


Dinner table – there were 10 people this time:


Close up! Because it’s cute!:


The next tasting and dinner is in April and I’m already stoked to start trying new recipes and beers! We’ll be tasting Amber/Red Ales.



5 Responses to “Second Bi-Monthly Beer Tasting & Dinner”

  1. Crissy February 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    My porter won in terms of the hostess’ favorite (which is funny because porters are NOT my fave)! The dinner was overall delicious–thanks for a lovely evening! Readers, if you didn’t already, PLEASE take a few minutes to notice and appreciate the handmade buntings (that’s right, plural), table runners, magnet favors, menu cards, tasting cards, and table decorations galore! ;)

    • mmckenzie06 February 4, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

      Thanks, Crissy, for my first “official” comment! I’m glad you could make it this month and hope you’re here for April, too. I’m going to have to come up with some more decoration ideas just for YOU!


  1. Marinated Broccoli, Tomato, & Mozzarella Salad « Flour & Hops - February 5, 2013

    […] was looking for a side dish to serve with the Roasted Potato Stacks at my February Beer Dinner and after trying just a green salad, realized the broccoli would be a perfect accompaniment (thank […]

  2. Chocolate Chip Shortbread (aka My New Favorite Cookie) « Flour & Hops - February 6, 2013

    […] however, ate mine with a good Scotch Ale. For my February Beer Dinner I paired it with Wee Heavy by Belhaven Brewery Company. Originally I paired the cookies with Fat […]

  3. Vegetarian Cornmeal Chili « Flour & Hops - February 10, 2013

    […] everything else into the pot and let it cook! I moved mine to a crock-pot because I made it for my February beer dinner and had doubled the recipe and needed to keep the chili warm for awhile. Right before serving mix in […]

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