The Dogfish Head Ancient Ales Brunch was on Sunday, August 25th, at Toronado. This beer brunch included 6 courses paired with 6 tremendous beers (4 from the Ancient Ales line up) that left me satisfied on many fronts. Megan Linaugh, Southwest Regional Sales Manager for Dogfish, discussed how the partnership between the brewery and Dr. Patrick McGovern lead to the Ancient Ales series, how the beers were created, and brewed. Nate Soroko spoke about each dish and his thoughts behind the pairings. Toronado had all the bases covered and delivered a craft beer event for the ages.
We started the morning with 120 minute IPA, this year’s batch hit 17.5% ABV, what a way to get the ball rolling! That was paired with a tasty rye toastini topped with brie, figs, greens, and a great dried meat (possibly salami). A nice snack to get the hunger flowing and put a little something in your belly for the heavy hitting 120.
Our second course was the dish of the day. A sweet potato pancake with Cheyenne maple butter and candied bacon. My only regret was not getting a second; serious props to Nate for inventing this! Midas Touch lead off for the Ancient Ales, it paired well and was refreshing after the 120.
Following that, we were served Mushroom quiche Napolean with pickled red onion and apple slaw. Basically a rich, flavorful breakfast sandwich that really hit the spot. This was by far the most substantial course and I was appreciative of that to say the least. The beer, Birra Etrusca Bronze, was full of nuances I don’t believe I was fully appreciating during the event. I will have to get more.
Next, we were originally scheduled to have Theobroma but they had to substitute Palo Santo Marron. Toronado had a bottle of the Theobroma and I was invited to split it with the table next to us. I’m glad we did; it was delightful. Palo Santo Marron is a tremendous beer, deep wood flavors come through from being aged in hand made wooden vessels. The dish was a walnut crusted shrimp over Isreali cous cous. The shrimp was giant and scrumptious.
Headed towards the finish, we were given curry steak and potatoes with nan bread paired with Chateau Jiahu, based on the oldest fermented beverage in recorded history. Both the beer and dish went down well and by this point I was happy through and through. I keep thinking about how good that nan was.
For desert we got La Tija Island tiramisu with coconut custard. I’m serioulsy anti coconut but I totally enjoyed this and would eat it again. The beer was Sah’tea which was my second favorite of the Ancient Ales behind Birra Etrusca Bronze.
Good people, great beer and amazing food is the formula for the best of times! Cheers to Toronado and Dogfish Head for hosting a great event that was interesting, fun and delicious!