The Five Chef Societe

_MG_9892When they announced The Five Chef Societe dinner and I was invited to cover the event, I was excited for what was sure to be a great night of food and beer. Little did I know at the time that my enthusiasm was actually an understatement of what an excellent event would unfold on Monday, November 5th.

I arrived early and was initially impressed with the way the Handlery Hotel decorated their restaurant for the event. The entire area had the feel of the Societe tasting room – growlers, kegs and barley used in a tasteful way to emphasize this was a San Diego Beer Week happening.

The night started with a nice reception as David Maldonado played flamenco guitar and everyone got a chance to sample some of Societe’s fine craft beers. On a side note, if you haven’t heard of or visited Societe Brewing, you’re missing one of the best newcomers to the amazing San Diego beer scene. Open just 6 months they are already very entrenched into the scene and I personally can’t wait until we get to sample the first of the barrel aged sour beers they are making. Continue reading “The Five Chef Societe”

San Diego Brewers Guild Festival 2012

Mayor Sanders pours me a beerOne of the signature events of San Diego Beer Week is the Brewers Guild Festival. With almost every San Diego beer brewery participating, a picturesque location, plenty of food options and live music this was the place to be on Saturday.

The festival kicked off with Sam the Cooking Guy introducing Mayor Sanders who welcomed us all and helped pour a freshly tapped cask of double dry hopped Big Barrel from Karl Strauss. Getting served beer by the mayor is an experience I didn’t expect and won’t forget. He seemed happy and was very friendly. Continue reading “San Diego Brewers Guild Festival 2012”

Societe Brewing Through Sore Eyes

After being introduced to Societe at the NKOTB beer event, I arranged a guided tour and tasting at the brewery for me and a few friends on September 14th.  I was excited they were willing to take us around their facility and talk about their beers.  They were the surprise hit of the NKOTB and I was impressed with their quality beer instantly.

When we arrived at the brewery I was really happy with the facility.  It was a large open tasting room, with clear views of all the brewing equipment and the cold room where the barrels for the sour beers are stored.  The tasting room has large benches, stand up tables and a lot of bar space.  It felt comfortable, open and inviting.

Travis Smith introduced himself (he’s one of the founders), and we jumped right into tasting the first beer, the Harlot. After we grabbed our beers, we started the tour. As we entered the actual brewing section, he explained the Harlot was the first beer produced by Societe.  It’s a light, crisp Belgian that really has something special in the subtleties of the taste.  You get a mild floral and fruitiness that goes with tons of food or moods, a versatile beer that could easily be an everyday drinker.  He said that’s why this is the beer he drinks the most – life is about occasions, and the Harlot goes with any.
Continue reading “Societe Brewing Through Sore Eyes”

Chef Karl’s Endless Summer Country Boil

On August 29th I attended a great food event at the Handlery Hotel. For only $25 each person got 3/4 lb Crawfish, 1/2 lb Shrimp, 1/2 lb Andouille Sausage, 1/2 lb red potatos and corn. The Chef, Karl Prohaska, had prepared the boil bags ahead of time and set up a boil while you wait station at the pool. If you haven’t spent anytime at the Handlery, I highly recommend coming out to their weekly pool parties to get a feel for fun side of this hotel. It took about 4 minutes for each bag to boil and each guest to receive their feast. The Chef made a great decision serving the giant meal in a roasting pan, no plate could hope to contain such a bounty. The Old Bay flavor of the boil really came through in the crawfish, shrimp and potatoes. It was far more than all you could eat. The atmosphere at the pool was fun and relaxed, the band grooved while patrons enjoyed their meals and drinks. I had a great night, definitely more fun than Wednesday normally holds. I hope to see you at the upcoming Beer Week events, watch out for a post about my Societe Brewery visit later this month and let me know if there is a beer or food event you think I should attend.

The New Kids on the Block – a Beer Event at the Handlery

NKOTB21It should be no surprise that I am a big beer fan. Lately I have been invited to cover some beer events and could not be happier. This event was held on Thursday, July 19th and featured more than 12 new San Diego breweries and several great food selections from local chefs, all to benefit a great local charity, Wounded Warrior Homes. Some of the highlight breweries for me were Societe, Hess, Manzanita and Roughdraft. On the food side of the festival the Handlery’s chef and organizer of the event, Karl Prohaska, had the winning dish with Toronado and Slater’s 50/50 right there. This event was a smaller, more accessible event than the main festival held annually. Tickets were limited, the event was held within the hotel grounds, not in the parking lot, breweries and chefs were intermingled with plenty of room to walk around and socialize. I enjoyed the size of this event, I was able to talk to the breweries and chefs more that at the larger event. I had a great time and look forward to the next event put on by the excellent staff at the Handlery Hotel. Make sure to join the Mission Valley Craft Beer and Food Festival Facebook group to keep up to date with upcoming events!