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AUG/SEP 2005 | REGIONAL | WEST COAST

Belgians At The Gate
Four Brewers, Belgian-Style Beers And A Multicourse Dinner In San Francisco

By Tom Dalldorf

The Cathedral Hill Hotel was once again the site for an extraordinary gathering of beer and food — this time with four prominent brewers from around the country showing their best beers. Each of these brewers could have sold out the event, but beer chef Bruce Paton saw an opportunity for a singular evening of great styles from four talented brewers paired with his superb cuisine.

"An American Belgian Beer Extravaganza" surely lived up to its title. The event took place Monday, June 20, 2005, and filled the ballroom to capacity. Brewers attending included Peter Bouckaert, New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, Colo.; Rob Tod of Allagash Brewing, Portland, Maine; Vinnie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing, Santa Rosa, Calif.; and Tomme Arthur of Pizza Port Brewing, San Diego, Calif.

The evening began with Chef’s Hors d’Oeuvres (them's classy munchies) served with Russian River Sanctification. The first course set the bar high with Seared Foie Gras with Vanilla Scented Yam Puree accompanied by Allagash Four (a quadruple) and Russian River Damnation. The second course continued to impress, with Jumbo Day Boat Scallops with Dungeness Crab Salad, Truffle Corn Emulsion and Osetra Caviar served with New Belgium Saison and Pizza Port Mo Betta Bretta. Talk about contrasting beer styles!

The main course featured richly flavored Beer Braised Angus Short Ribs, Celeriac Potato Mash, Baby Spinach and Port Wine Glace with Russian River Supplication and the tantalizingly tart New Belgium La Folie.

The gluttonous gala ended with an assortment of Whipped Artisan Cheeses with Roasted Beets and Spiced Croutons spectacularly paired with Allagash Curieux and Pizza Port Cuvée de Tomme.
During the dinner, each of the brewers talked to the guests about their beers and the various food pairings orchestrated by Chef Bruce. Guests included beer fans, beer press, brewers and pub owners and employees, who seemed to be delighted with the high-powered program.

This reporter is looking forward to the next culinary adventure presented by the "Beer Hotel."

Check out future events at cathedralhillhotel.com.

Tom Dalldorf is publisher and editor of the Celebrator Beer News.

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