Recap of the Portsmouth Brewery – Dogfish Head Beer dinner

It’s been two days since the beer dinner and I finally have a spare moment to share my story. It was an amazing night and I was very happy to attend the event with my wife Amber, brother Ryan and sister-in-law Jen.

Ryan and Jen

Amber, Ryan and I are frequent visitor to the Portsmouth brewery, but this was Jen’s first visit Portsmouth brewery adventure. It is going to be hard to top this event.

The beer dinner was held in the room to the left off the main dining area. The room was small but not too small — it was a very friendly environment. We sat down to eat with our friend Dan Kochakian, writer from the ale street news.

The starter course was the Dogfish Head Festina Peche paired with spiced nuts with homemade chex mix. The Festina Peche is light and refreshing. The chex mix was a great opening for the evening – very tasty.

The first course was the Dogfish Head Indian Brown and PB Hefeweizenbock paired with grilled prawn & farm green salad with grilled corn & avocado, roasted garlic, pickled scapes & a creamy caramelized onion vinaigrette. I’m not a salad guy, but I tried this one. I avoided the prawns mostly, but amber convinced me to give it a try. The Indian Brown was a little darker than the hefeweizenbock, but both were very tasty.

The second course was the Dogfish Head Sah’tea & PB Saison de Printemps paired with chilled English pea soup with garbanzo flatbread & minted sour cream. If you like peas, you’d love the soup. As you can image, it was very green — VERY green. I gave it a try, it tasted like peas :). Both the Sah’tea and the Saison were lighter beers. Ok. Lighter in color, but not too light in alcohol. The Sah’tea is listed to be 9%. This was a unique pairing, because both had a crazy amount of spices — and saffron added during the brewing process.

The third course was the Dogfish Head Pale India Ale & PB Thaizenheimer paired with oyster on a half shell with a ginger mignonette & a seared sea scallop in enoki mushroom broth. I’m not a daring eater. Actually, I am a very boring eater. Amber encouraged me to try the scallop, so I did. It was interesting, fishier than the prawn. The Pale India Ale was not a mistype. The Pale India Ale is designed to be 6% abv bier de garde brewed with Fenugreek, Big Elachi, Green Elachi, Kalonji Onion, Garam Masala, and Tamarind Paste. OK. Sounds crazy — and it was. Please note that this is a beer that was only available at the brew bub in Rehoboth, DE. It was an interesting beer, but I’m not sure if it will make it to larger scale production. The Thaizenheimer is an Asian influenced Wheat wheat beer with a ton of spiced and low in alcohol (4.5%). Both of these beers were unique — and enjoyable in smaller quantities.

OK – a quick break from the menu. At each pairing, Todd Mott (Portsmouth Brewery head Brewery), Peter Egelston (Owner of Portsmouth Brewery) and/or Sam Calagione (Owner of Dogfish Head Brewery) would talk about the pairing and tell us a story. The excitement of this event was in the air. Todd and Peter were very pumped to kick off their “Luminary Beer Dinner Series” with Sam. Sam also expressed his praise for Todd’s brewing skills and Peter being a prominent figure in the craft beer world. Both are Sam’s elder’s in the industry. It wasn’t only a beer dinner, but a family gathering of sorts.

I had never met Sam personally, but was very excited to. I feel that I have a similar passion for beer and the craft beer industry. At one point, I asked Amber to pinch me — to remind me that I was there. OK. Enough about that.

The fourth course was the Dogfish Head Midas Touch & PB Aged Barleywine paired with smoked pork ribs with a chipotle bbq sauce, hushpuppies and cole slaw. This was my favorite food dish. The smoked ribs and the bbq sauce was amazing. It had never heard of a hushpuppy before (but i’ve had a slush puppy). It was amazing (small cornmeal breads that are deep fried). The barleywine was very tasty. Smooth and high on the drink ability scale. I wanted a second glass.

The fifth course was the Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron & PB Kate the Great Imperial Stout paired with almond macaroons dipped in dark chocolates. AMAZING. The macaroons were so light and delicious. Paired with the Palo Santo and Kate was a great choice. I had attended the Kate the Great release party, but it tasted even more amazing this time. The alcohol presence was more subtle this time and smooth — almost too smooth.

Here are some pics…

Sam Calagione, Todd Mott, Peter Egelston, Dan Kochakian, Sean Jansen, Ryan Jansen
Thank you Portsmouth Brewery. We had a great time!!
Peter Egelston welcoming everyone to attending. Todd Modd speaking about the food parings.
Sam and Mariah Calagione and Todd Sean (me) trying the first course.
Amber and Sean An excited Todd Mott
Sam talking about the beer pairings while
receiving advice from the boss – “Mariah”
Dan Kochakian and Sam Calagione
Third Course Oyster and Scallop Fourth Course – Ribs
Pint Glass Fifth Course – Desert

Peace and love, peace and love.


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