As a chick on the move, I enjoy partaking in a little Ladies Night Out fun. I was invited to learn more about Chicago’s Goose Island Beer while enjoying a three course dinner and cooking demonstration by Table Executive Chef Cassy Vires and Pastry Chef Jess Paddock. The purpose of the dinner was to teach us about beer pairings as well as how we can create these culinary recipes at home, and allowed us girls (and a few fellas too) some bonding time amongst fellow bloggers and influencers.
Our menu for the evening consisted of the following:
- Buttered Local Radishes with Wild Greens, Lemon Infused Sea Salt and Beer Bread (paired with Goose Island Beer’s Sofie Farmhouse Ale)
- Braised Pork Belly with Roman Gnocchi, Crushed Hazelnuts and Balsamic-Beer Reduction (paired with Goose Island Beer’s Matilda Belgian Strong Ale)
- Raspberry-Ale Panna Cotta with Local Raspberry Puree (paired with Goose Island’s Lolita American Wild Ale)
Here is a full description of the beers we tasted during the pairing:
Sofie Farmhouse Ale: Fermented with wild yeasts and aged in wine barrels with orange peel, Sofie is a tart, dry, sparkling ale. A subtle, spicy white pepper note, a hint of citrus from the orange peel and a creamy vanilla finish make Sofie an intriguing choice for Champagne drinkers and beer drinkers who are fond of Belgian Saisons. Sofie is 6.5% alcohol by volume and develops in the bottle for up to 5 years.
· Matilda Belgian Strong Ale: Wild in character, with a slightly fruity aroma and a spicy yeast flavor that is as unique as it is satisfying – Matilda is an intriguing choice for beer and wine lovers alike. Dry and quenching, it’s the perfect accompaniment at the dining table or for casually socializing at the bar. Matilda is 7% alcohol by volume and develops in the bottle for up to 5 years.
· Lolita American Wild Ale: A rose-colored Belgian Style Pale Ale fermented with the wild yeast Brettanomyces and aged in wine barrels on 30,000 pounds of fresh raspberries, sourced from a family farm in Michigan. Aromas of fresh raspberries, bright jammy fruit flavors and a crisp, refreshing body make Lolita ideal for beer drinkers fond of Belgian Framboise. Lolita is 8.7% alcohol by volume and develops in the bottle for up to 5 years.
My favorite beer and food pairing of the night was the Braised Pork Belly with Goose Island’s Sofie Farmhouse Ale. The pork belly was superbly cooked and melted in my mouth. Following it up with a splash of beer, my tongue was instantly enamored—I wanted more!
I was least impressed with the Lolita American Wild Ale (I prefer sweeter flavors than sour ones), but alongside the Raspberry-Ale Panna Cotta, it definitely complimented the dish.
Goose Island originates from Chicago and began as a Brewpub in 1988 as an homage to Midwest flavors and culture. In 1995, because of its popularity, Goose Island expanded to to a larger brewery and bottling plant. A second Goose Island Brewpub was opened in 1999 only minutes away from Wrigley Field, and now, they are launching their craft beers nationally.
Craft beer has been all the rage these last few years, and Goose Island has been on the forefront in creating unique flavors.
Below is a photo of me and fellow blogger To Be Thode (click here). Thanks to Goose Island Beer and to Adriana for the invite!