Just the Bottle

One woman's adventure in beer, food, wine and spirits

Did somebody say beer dinner?

I have great respect for DC Brau. The founders are hard working and passionate men. I remember after they first opened, I tried to find The Public Ale. It was amazing having that first beer. I had a friend at the time who had just moved to San Fransisco and took photos of DC Brau. He eventually made his way back home and loves DC Brau.

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This past Thursday DC Brau held a beer dinner at 1905. The event was featured on TasteDC’s calendar among other great sites. Before the dinner, they held a release happy hour for their Saint Joseph’s Tripel. The beer is named in honor of Joey Belcher. They also donated a portion of the proceeds of the happy hour as well as remembered him fondly during the dinner.

I missed the happy hour as I was catching up with a friend at Vinoteca. It’s another great spot in the area that never gets too packed for weekday happy hour and offers several wines by the glass for $5.

I showed up shortly before the start of dinner. I was greeted by the wonderful staff of 1905 including one of my favorite bartenders, Lyn. She’s a sassy lady with amazing taste in beer and food. I also was lucky enough to meet one of the DC Beers crew, John Fleury.

Let’s get started with this tasty dinner. Nom nom nom.

Amuse Bouche

Oyster Shooter

DC Brau Citizen, Horseradish, Lemon Juice, Pickled Okra
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The amuse bouche featured the DC Brau Citizen as an oyster shooter. I am not the biggest fan usually of oysters, but the spice and acid notes were perfect. The DC Brau Citizen had a balancing effect.

First Course

House-Smoked Pork Belly

Brined in DC Brau Penn Quarter Porter, Maple Glaze, Bacon Collards, Littlenecks

Paired with Penn Quarter Porter (5.5% ABV)

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My preferred beers are stouts or porters. I love the Penn Quarter Porter. The pork belly was succulent. It was so creamy along with the beer it came out very luxurious. The collard greens with bacon added an element of salt.

There were amazing chocolate notes in the porter with some smoke towards the finish.

Second Course

Brau-Brined Salmon

Lemon-Pepper Creme, Deviled Crawfish, Pickled Fennel

Paired with Saint Joseph’s Tripel (10% ABV)

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This was yet another amazing dish. The tripel made delicious sense with the salmon. As Jeff presented the dish, he spoke of having beer compliment or contradict your food. It’s a great aspect of dining with beer.

The salmon was cooked perfectly. It was incredibly moist and sort of fell apart in my mouth. The deviled crawfish and pickled fennel added a nice sourness that was a palate cleanser.

The tripel was a great homage to the Belgian tripel. It wasn’t as overpowering as I find Belgian tripels (possibly food would help). It had lovely citrus notes, some toast and mild sweetness.

Third Course

Crisp-Skin Duck Breast

Housemade Kraut, Sorghum Mustard, Barrel-Aged Ghoul’s Night Out Beer Salt

Paired with Barrel-Aged Ghoul’s Night Out (11% ABV)

Aged in Catoctin Creek Grape Brandy Barrels

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Next we moved onto the duck, which to quote my man friend was “quacktastic”. The sorghum mustard added spicy notes combined with the barrel aged ghoul’s night our beer salt and beer itself. The beer had amazing caramel notes that brought out additional flavor in the duck.

Even though I prefer heavier beers, this may have been my favorite. It reminded me somewhat of a doppelbock with caramel flavors and a lovely smoothness.

We also had the opportunity to sample the Catoctin Creek Brandy to have a better understanding of how the beer was aged. This may be my new favorite brandy. It was very smooth with great vanilla notes and hints of molasses.

Final Course

"Coffee & Doughnuts"

Paired with Barrel-Aged Penn Quarter Porter (5.5% ABV)

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Obviously, I love donuts. I went to the donut party. One can never have enough donuts. As we finished our dinner, we were treated to donuts with light powdered sugar, chocolate ganche sauce, Barrel Aged Penn Quarter Porter and a coffee styled chaser.

The donuts were light, fluffy and warm. That’s a key to donuts is conning the mouth into thinking they are eating something that hasn’t been fried in grease. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

The barrel aging added more vanilla and toasty notes with hints of whiskey to the beer. It rounded the finish.

This was an amazing dinner with great people both attending and working the event. I always love my visits to 1905 and hope to go back soon.

Oh and DC Brau! I’m calling you out. Have more beer dinners!!