Beer Dinner at LAX Spotlights Two Brewers
by Jay Sheveck
Beer Appreciation Night at the Four Points Sheraton "Beer Hotel" in Los Angeles changed its format for one evening in November. Instead of the usual 12 beers, a four-course Holiday Beer Dinner was prepared by Executive Chef Carlos Solis, in which he paired a single beer with each course. Philip Baxter, the "Beer Sommelier," hosted the event.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]The Holiday Beer Dinner featured five beers from both Craftsman Brewing Company of Pasadena, Calif., and North Coast Brewing Company of Fort Bragg, Calif. Craftsman's brewer Mark Jilg was the guest speaker of the evening, and Larry James of Wine Warehouse (North Coast's distributor) was also present to answer questions. Attendance surpassed expectations, requiring last-minute table additions to accommodate the 65-plus beer lovers. Notably, Celebrator Beer News Associate Editor Don Erickson seemed most happily seated next to two of the most beautiful women in the room.
In his presentation, Jilg described how his extensive homebrewing tenure landed him in professional brewing. He also explained that Craftsman's seasonal Holiday Ale was a refined, alternatively spiced version of his homebrew from 10 years earlier.
Larry James then introduced Southern California to North Coast's 2002 Wintertime Ale as the main course was served. At the end of the evening, James surprised everyone by "toasting the chef" with a room-temperature glass of Unibroue's Quelque Chose, an 8% cherry-infused Belgian-style beer from Chambly, Quebec, Canada. Carlos Solis finished the night's presentation with an oral overview of the evening's edibles. It turned out to be an impressive culinary event.
The dining began with a serving of Craftsman's Holiday Spruce Ale. The appetizer featured Roasted Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Soup paired with Craftsman's Smoked Black Lager. Without delay, a plate of spearminty Marinated Pear and Smoked Bay Scallop Salad Vinaigrette was served with Craftsman Triple White Sage. The main course featured Stuffed Cornish Game Hen with Holiday Stuffing and Demi-Glace mated with North Coast's 2002 Wintertime Ale. Dessert went over the top with "Grandma Baxter's" Plum Pudding with Bourbon Anglais Sauce, impressively paired with a raisin-sweet 2001 vintage North Coast Old Stock Ale. Unibroue's Quelque Chose was brought out immediately after.
A final surprise came when Baxter announced that every attendee would be given complimentary tickets to the December Beer Appreciation Night, in gratitude for their participation. It turned out to be a festive "Holiday" Beer Appreciation Night indeed.
T. H. Brewsters
Four Points Sheraton Hotel
9750 Airport Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Craftsman Brewing Co.
1260 Lincoln Ave., #100
Pasadena, CA 91103
North Coast Brewing Co.
444 N. Main St.
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
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