I had a really great time last night at Rutheny's Brook Street Gallery's 3rd Annual Art of Food event. There was some amazing food, including probably the BEST ribs I have EVER eaten. They were called Asian Wet Bones w/ Fiery Salsa, made by Peter and Selina Lavery. I have to get that recipe. They were rubbed and cool smoked for something like 5 hours. They went very well with my Dunkelweizen. Another favorite of mine was Asian Tacos....lettuce leaves stuffed with beef, onions and other goodies...truly delicious.
The weather was good, so Ian and I set up the beer section outside in the alley next to the gallery. Ian had a fire going as well and he strung up some lights. There were 3 homebrews to sample. Ian had an amber ale, I had my Dunkel, and Tim (can't remember his last name) brought a Pete's Wicked Clone (which was MUCH better than my attempt at Pete's). Many people were interested in our craft, and I enjoyed speaking about it to anyone who'd listen. As luck would have it, each beer featured a different component of beer. The amber ale exemplified the best of hop character. The Pete's clone, (a brown ale) had really rich roasted malt tones. And, as any good weizen, my Dunkelweizen really showed off the power of a good yeast. As people tasted each beer, I would say things like, "You should smell a little grain, and then taste notes of grapefruit..." for Ian's Amber, and "You should taste a nice roasty caramel flavor first, with a mild bitter flavor in the finish" for the Pete's clone. I pointed out the the importance of balancing maltiness and hoppiness. For my Dunkel, I pointed out the banana aroma, the spicy, citrusy flavors, and the fact that as a good German beer, I followed Reinheitsgabot (spelling?), and did not add any of those flavors. One guy (rib-man Peter) tasted coriander! Others couldn's smell the banana, and others tasted the apple (which faded, in my opinion). I went on to explain that the strain of yeast used produced esters and other flavor compounds that added those flavors. I said the Germans were able to compete with the Belgians by cultivating yeast as opposed to the Belgian tradition of adding everything you can think of to their beers.
Jenn Rutheny was a great host, and if you are in Croton, check out her gallery. She makes jewelry and holds classes there. She displays local artists, who are amazing, and create wonderful images of life on the Hudson, from bald eagles, to the dam, to the railroad.
I mentioned to Jenn that I was interested in finding a space to hold a beer lecture series. She graciously offered her gallery, so now I have to get working my research! I would shoot for that in January.
I also talked with Michael Grant, owner of Black Cow Coffee, a very successful coffee house in town. He told me to follow my dreams, draft up a business plan, and start raising funds....He said I need to set aside fear and just do it! Maybe I will!
What a really good night!