Birch Hill Tavern Beer Dinner

We’re stickin’ with the alcohol theme going on, and I’m here to tell you about the most delicious beer/spirits dinner I have ever been to! I guess the Birch Hill Tavern has had quite a few beer dinners, but this was my 1st and I’m glad it was — because besides tasting Maine Brewing Company‘s beer, we also got to try 3 spirits from the New England Distillery.

Birch Hill Tavern curated a delicious menu to go with the 3 delicious MBC beers — Another One, Lunch & Dinner, and the 3 NED spirits — Eight Bells Rum, Inginium Gin & Gunpowder Maryland Rye Whiskey.

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We started off with Maine Beer Co.’s 1st beer “Another One” to go alongside some awesome appetizers — meatballs and bruschetta. Next up was an antipasti plate which consited of smoked gouda, prosciutto, hot peppers, capicola, olives & a pickled medley (cauliflower and carrots) which went fantastically with MBC’s beer “Lunch”. To be honest I was a bit skeptical after tasting these very vinegary, salty foods, but this beer was paired perfectly.

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Next up was my favorite of the night, butternut squash ravioli with a brown butter rum sauce, parsnips and raisins topped with crispy shitake mushrooms paired with the Eight Bells rum. The surprise of the night was that each liquor drink came 2 ways, straight up and in a mixed drink form (holy amount of drinks…)! I’m not usually a fan of rum, but damn this was good. It actually tasted surprisingly similar to whiskey (but still rummy) because it is aged in bourbon barrels. So. Good.

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Once we settled in after the delicious ravioli, we were presented with the amazing beer battered eggplant with smoked mozzarella and sweet marinara. Holy hell this thing was HUGE and went extremely well with it’s paired beer, “Dinner”. I had never had smoked mozz before and it is really good! I almost didn’t finish it I was so full, but I managed 😉

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Before dessert, came a fruity and refreshing Gin drink which tasted like a strawberry lemonade (with gin of course). By this time in the evening, the place was loud and happy!

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And for dessert, we had layers of fried dough with whiskey soaked berries, sweet mascarpone & rum whiskey cream paired with the Gunpowder Maryland Rye & a Manhattan style cocktail. The dessert was so light and fluffy (thank god, I really wanted to finish it, but damn was I full), and wrapped up the meal so perfectly.

As I had mentioned before I had never been to a beer dinner, but boy do I recommend them now! These people know what they’re doing, and anytime you can experience the genius of a kitchen matching food and booze so perfectly, I say go for it!

Have you guys been to any good beer or liquor dinners?

 

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Dark ‘n’ Stormy

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How in our adult lives had we never had a Dark ‘n’ Stormy?? This classic cocktail is pretty glorious. On paper, the combination of flavors actually sounds a little strange. But somehow the sweet vanilla of the rum, mixed with the spice of the ginger, and hint of acidity in the lime is pretty kick-ass.

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Ingredients:
(makes two drinks)

// 1 can ginger beer

// 4 shots dark rum (we were cheapos and went with good ol’ Trader Joe’s brand)

// 8 ice cubes

// lime

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And here is our crab friend, Hector, who assisted us with our beachy staging.

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To make:

01. Divide your 8 ice cubes between 2 tumblers

02. Fill your tumblers 2/3 of the way full with ginger beer

03. Slowly pour your rum over each to create the gradient look (about 2 shots per glass)

04. Squirt a lime wedge over the top, and create a pinwheel for a garnish

05. Take a photo for Instagram

06. Mix with a spoon and enjoy!

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We made these guys on an ironic evening, considering it was rather grey and rainy out, and were very pleased with the results. Do yourself a favor though and don’t drink too many — that sugar from the soda will get to your head, and you will not be feeling so hot the next morning…we may have learned from experience.