Craft Beer, Fine Wine, Artisan Spirits, and Mouthgasmic Food.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Boar meets Beer at Uncle Billy's

I had the great pleasure of being invited to attend the Boar meets Beer dinner at Uncle Billy's.  This is the dinner for the ultimate beer loving carnivore.  

The reception started off with smoked venison wrapped around asparagus and cream cheese.  The smoky and peppery simple venison with vegetables was paired with their 2009 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal Winning Hell in Keller pils.  I found the crisp, clean, and hoppy beer to contrast nicely with the mild meat, creamy cheese, and sweet veggies.  This particular batch of Hell in Keller was brewed right when Brian Peters returned from GABF back in September.  Brian gives a few words of advice about brewing lagers.  1. Use a German Pils Malt. 2. Only use one malt.  Hell in Keller is a lager that was brewed for 4.5 weeks, and not always available.  Lagers (because they require a longer period of time to brew) take up precious tank space.  So get down to Uncle Billy's and try this award winning beer before it's gone. 

Next up was the smoked duck breasts with phyllo-wrapped roasted vegetables and heirloom tomato napoleon, accented with a bourbon demi and served with Hill Country organic Amber.  The flavorful duck breast was unbelievably tender and lean.  What I like about this dish and the venison was that meat wasn't too dressed up, over spiced, or over-cooked.  Both meats were perfectly prepared with just the flavors of the meat and smoke coming through. 

The extra creamy pumpkin soup was served in a gigantic sourdough bread bowl.  I'm taking about the size of a football.  Uncle Billy's doesn't play games with serving sizes around here.  The delicious soup was topped with a creme fraiche and served with the Hop Zombie IPA.  The mellow soup contrasted nicely with the sourness of bread, tartness of the creme fraiche, and the citrus-y hop flavor of the Hop Zombie IPA.  The different flavors were nicely balanced with the soup, bread, creme fraiche, and beer.  This is the kind of soup you need on a cold winter night.  Hearty, tasty, and comforting. 

Stuffed wild boar chop with Swiss chard and Okinawan purple potato au gratin.  Just the sounds of it should make you drool.  The tender wild boar chop was stuffed with button mushrooms, crimini mushrooms, onions, garlic, green onion, red onion, butter, and pinot gringo and topped with a sweet apple sauce.  My favorite side was the purple potato au gratin that literally tasted like butter.  That side dish was fantastic.  This entree was served with the Bitchin Camaro.  This recipe is the same recipe from the Bitter Ends using crystal hops.  Delicious.

The final pairing of the night was a dark chocolate mousse in a white chocolate cup (more like a big mug) with cranberry whipped cream served with Insomniac Coffee Stout.  Chocolate and stouts are a  natural pairing, and this one was particularly nice with the cranberry whipped cream.  The Insomniac stout was lusciously creamy as it is carbonated with nitrogen and CO2.  It gives for smaller bubbles and a creamier head.  The coffee flavor that is added to this beer using cold extracted Austin Java Coffee.  I won't give away other details about how it is brewed, but I will tell you to try some of this Insomniac Coffee Stout.  I've used it many times to make cupcakes, brownies, and chocolate mousse.

As a surprise, diners were also treated to a sample of last year's anniversary ale (2008), the Boozer Chavez.  It a Belgium strong ale with sweet sugar, toffee, and caramel aromas.  The other flavors that I got were deep raisins and somewhat bourbon-y.  I smelled just like a bourbon to me.  Very tasty.  Very strong (~10%). And very unique.  It was a great way to end a wonderful meal.  A big thanks to Uncle Billy's, Brian Peters, and the staff.

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