On Tuesday, Unibroue regional rep extraordinaire invited Gary and me to be his guests at a five-course dinner to celebrate the release of Unibroue’s first collaboration. A few months ago, Master Brewer Jerry Vietz came to Jersey to brew Jerry Chris Mas (sounds like a Dead reference, doesn’t it?) with Iron Hill Maple Shade Head Brewer Chris LaPierre, who returned from Belgium like five minutes before the dinner started. It was sort of an unofficial collab, as Unibroue won’t be selling it but if you’re close enough to Maple Shade, you sure as shit want to get some at Iron Hill while you can. Also, they’re aging some in bourbon and wine barrels so expect more goodness throughout the year. Some noted personages in attendance were Mark Haynie, Andy Calimano and Tom Peters, and Jeff Linkous stopped by to take pictures. Gary took some amazing pics, and I’ve included the menu as one of the shots.
Kudos to Chris and the chef, the pairings were some of the best I’ve experienced, especially the Blonde de Chambly with the seared monk fish and micro greens with ginger vinaigrette, and the Jerry Chris Mas with the roasted elk loin. The only bad thing I have to say is that the dessert — brown sugar pie — was so unimaginably good that pairing it with La Terrible, another one of my favorites, was an overkill of goodness. Each one stands on its own so much that neither could possibly enhance the other. I think the only thing you could have paired with that brown sugar pie was more brown sugar pie.
On another note Jerry has extended his stay to attend the Starfish Junction beer fest at the Navy Yard on Saturday so look for him if you’re there.