Saranac Beer Dinner for Bloggers – Part 3 (Beer Dinner)

Saranac Blogger’s Beer Dinner (part 3 – 6 Course Beer Dinner)

FX Matt Brewing Company invited us on the Ultimate Brewery Tour. Here is a recap from part 1 and 2.


Quick Recap from part 1: FX Matt Brewing Company, producers of Saranac and Utica Club brands, hosted a beer dinner for bloggers at their brewery in New York. The beer dinner was a meeting of the minds, along with a release party for the 12 beers of Winter Variety Pack. The variety pack contains 6 different beer styles – some new, some old, some old on steroids (haha jk.) [Click here if you missed part 1.]

Quick Recap from part 2: After we arrived, the group was split into two tours, lead by Nick and Fred Matt. The tour took us through the brewing process, past the fermentation process, around the bottling/canning lines and right into the warehouse. The brewery spans 2-3 miles, above and below the ground. The tour was very insightful and interesting. [Click here if you missed part 2.]

Saranac 12 beers of Winter
Beer Dinner – 12 Beers of Winter Tasting

Time to get to the main course – the beer dinner. The tables were setup to hold about 4-6 people, all on one side, facing the chef’s table. We selected the table in the front on the far left. The chef and his assistant put the final touches on each dish, right in front of us. It was interesting to watch.

A six beer lineup was placed on each table, with the bottles sitting in miniature Adirondack chairs. The selection was lined up in order, to match the pairings on the menu. At this point, we were browsing the menu for the first time. It was quite an elaborate mix. Check it out (commentary on the course is included):

We spent this part of the evening eating, chatting and laughing with the marketing team…a good time was definitely had!


Menu (prepared by Chef Arthur Langdon and his assistant):

Happy Hour Hero’s:

Assorted New York and Imported Cheeses served with Guava Paste, Seasonal Fruits, Flatbreads, Spiced Walnuts, and Wasabi Peas. Best Paired with: Saranac Pale Ale and Saranac Belgium Style Ale. Comments: The cheese and crackers were great, especially when paired with the beets (oops, I mean Guava Paste).

First Course:

Pan Seared Crab Cake with Organic Arugula Salad, Roasted Corn Salsa and Hopped Siracha Vinaigrette. Paired with: Saranac Rye I.P.A. Comments: Crab cakes aren’t my bag, but I gave them a try.  Nice and crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The corn was tasty, but and very very very spicy – yum. The Rye I.P.A. is an interesting style. Not many other breweries create this style – I enjoyed it (Waschusett Brewery is the only example that I’ve tried).

Second Course:
Beer Dinner - Ribs

Slow and Low Roasted Baby Back Pork Ribs with Orange-Hoison Glaze and Apple Fennel Slaw. Paired with: Saranac Big Moose Ale. Comments: Oh so tasty. Meat so tender that it fell right off the bone. The GREEN apple fennel slaw was very interesting – sliced to the size of potato sticks. The Big Moose Ale – American Pale Ale style – was one of my favorite beers – a definite stand out in this variety pack.

Beer Dinner - Beer Sorbet
Surprise Course 2.5

Beer Sorbet served in a cocktail glass. Paired with: Belgian Style Ale. Comments: Are you sure that this wasn’t the duck? It was a nice surprise addition to the menu. Seems easy to make – I can’t wait to try to make it.  Amber says:  OMG, The best thing I’ve ever eaten!

Third Course:
Beer Dinner - Duck

Cracked Peppercorn Duck Breast with Sweet Potato Hash. Paired with: Saranac Winter Lager. Comments: Duck cooked to perfection, so tender and paired well with the malty Winter Lager.  Amber Says:  OMG, THIS is the best thing I’ve ever eaten!

Fourth Course:
Beer Dinner - Brisket

Black Lager Braised Brisket with Cabbage and White Beans. Paired with: Saranac Black Lager. Comments: Thinly sliced brisket, seared on both sides. By this point, I was getting full, but the tender brisket was mouth watering.

Beer Dinner - Bread Pudding

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding. Paired with: Saranac Maple Porter. Comments: Yummy, tasty desert paired with hands down one of the best beers in the variety pack. The Maple Porter is smooth and sweet like maple sugar – but not too sweet.


We can’t say enough about the night we spent in the graces of the Saranac staff.  They really know how to make you feel like one of the family.  Needless to say, we were sad to be on our way at the end of the night.  Nick, Fred and staff – along with the catering service of Aramak/Chef Landgon, put together an evening to remember.

Stay tuned for a break down of the 12 Beers of Winter variety pack.

Other pictures from the beer dinner:

Chef and assistant Beer Dinner Menu
Getting Ready (Chef Landgonis in the background) Dinner Menu
Amber being a Minx Sean trying a crab cake
Minx-ing it up – again!! Getting ready to try a crab cake

Other related posts:

Saranac hosts Beer Dinners for Bloggers (part 1)
Saranac hosts Beer Dinners for Bloggers (part 2)
Fire at Matt Brewing Company – May 2008.
A year later after the fire at Matt Brewing Company
Top 50 breweries in 2008 – Ranked 7th.

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