Warm up to good beer

  • Saturday, January 25, 2014

Middleton Place Restaurant presents 4th Annual Braise & Brew beer dinner

“Malty beers, perhaps slightly syrupy, and with a hint of alcohol in the finish, make ideal winter warmers, of course. No doubt they also drove away the fear of endless nights, and ghosts, in the depths of pagan midwinters,” wrote renowned beer writer Michael Jackson in 1997. The words and spirit of that remark are as true today as ever, and the Middleton Place Restaurant will celebrate the beers of winter on January 26 with the 4th Annual Braise & Brew beer dinner at Middleton Place.

Braise & Brew is an hours-long feast of braised food expertly prepared by the Middleton Place Restaurant and bracing beers crafted by Holy City Brewing. Executive Chef Brandon Buck and his team visited the brewery in late December, sitting down with head brewer Chris Brown to sample beers, discuss flavor profiles and plan a spectacular beer dinner. After due consideration, Buck released a menu designed to maximize the harmony of specific dishes with specific beers, and in a few courses, Holy City’s brews will be used in the cooking process.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. as guests are welcomed to the Middleton Place Pavilion, where a warm fire will be crackling in the fireplace and a welcome course of Holy City’s Vienna Lager (6% alcohol by volume, or ABV) and house-made pork rinds will be served.

After all are seated, Middleton Place Director of Food and Beverage, Micah Garrison, will announce each course and describe its construction and why it was chosen. Then Brown will describe the beer pairing and how Holy City came to produce it. The first course will consist of a winter squash soup with roasted mushrooms and garlic and parmesan croutons. It will be served with Holy City’s Funkel Dunkel (5.8% ABV) – a German winter lager made with Munich malts, which give the beer a dark brown color and a flavor Holy City describes as “clean, crispy, malty, bready.”

The second course will include mussels made with spicy house-made sausage, fennel, and orange supreme in an Overly Friendly IPA broth and served with Holy City’s Overly Friendly India Pale Ale (7.8% ABV, with a double dose of Citra and Sorachi Ace hops).

The third course will serve up a ham hock ragout, baked beans and oven dried tomatoes. It will be served with a special batch of Holy City’s infamous bacon-infused brew known as The Notorious P.I.G. (6% ABV). The beer begins as the brewery’s Pluff Mud Porter, but at the end of the process, “gets aged on bacon.” Nearly 100 lbs. of cured and pecan smoked Heritage Farms pork belly prepared by the Middleton Place Restaurant will be steeped in the brew giving it a robust, smoky flavor. The kegs are pulled from the bottom of the barrel, leaving the bacon grease and fat behind.

The fourth course gets to the heart of the event with braised beef brisket and braised cabbage. It will be served with barrel-aged Collision Stout (9.5% ABV). Collision is a traditional stout, but with a healthy dose of Nugget, Horizon and Willamette hops. This particular batch has been aging in Jack Daniels barrels for the past 11 months, giving it a sweet whiskey bouquet.

The dessert course consists of a caramel and apple donut created by Middleton Place Restaurant Pastry Chef Courtney Simpson. It will be served with Holy City’s 2013 version of Christmasly Spiced Scratch Root Beer (0.0% ABV). Brown spiced this year’s edition with ginger, lemon peel, clove, cinnamon and other spices.

Charleston singer/songwriter Graham Whorley will serenade the crowd throughout the evening. In addition, the Inn at Middleton Place (a five-minute walk from the venue) is offering 10 percent off per room to Braise & Brew ticketholders who stay the evening of the event (subject to availability).

Braise & Brew will begin at 6 p.m., Sunday, January 26 at the Middleton Place Pavilion, located at 4300 Ashley River Road. Tickets are $85 per person and can be purchased at www.middletonplace.org, or by calling 556-6020. Reservations to the Inn at Middleton Place can be made by calling 556-0500.

The mission of the Middleton Place Foundation, a public non-profit educational trust, is to sustain the highest levels of preservation and interpretation for the Middleton Place National Historic Landmark, its Gardens, House, Plantation Stableyards and affiliated properties, such as the Edmondston-Alston House, and their collections and programs. Middleton Place and the Middleton Place Restaurant are located at 4300 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414.

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