Athlone Beer Club was invited to The Ritz for a special Irish Craft Beer Dinner last night. John went to great lengths to procure some great beers and he worked on the very inventive food pairings with chef Justin. There was a large turn out, the biggest we’ve had at an event of this kind, I was delighted to see some new faces as well as the loyal Athlone Beer Club regulars.
We started off with Smoked Hake which came with a warm nicoise salad, boiled quail egg and citrus salsa verde. This was paired with everyone’s favourite Belgian and Irish veterinarians turned brewers Mescan’s Blond. The evening was off to a great start.
Our second course was Pan Seared Wood Pigeon with puy lentils, blackberry jus and a micro herb salad. Mescan’s Tripel was the beer this time round. The Wood Pigeon was full flavoured and delicious and I’m a fan of the Tripel but they didn’t quite compliment each other as well as I would have liked.
Soup was up next and it was perfect for the wintry night that was in it. The soup was Baked Sweet Potato and Cumin with home made bread. We had a once off beer with that, local brewery Bo Bristle’s 7.8% Strong Amber.
They made a perfect marriage, as they both were warming with a bit of a kick. So thanks to Dave Guilfoyle for that one, he was there on the night and I said that any complaints were to be directed to him, there were no complaints!
After that we had Braised Beef Cheek with horseradish mash, baby veg and a wild mushroom and smoked lardon jus. This came with a beer I had been wanting to try since it’s release late last year Mescan’s Beoir Na Nollaig. The beef cheeks were beautifully tender and the beer was robust and a little spicy, delicious.
Our final course was a gorgeous Warm Chocolate Fondant with ginger nut crumble and vanilla cream. This was paired with the excellent Arigna #1, a dark Bière de Garde from Roscommon’s Black Donkey.
Thanks to everyone at The Ritz for looking after us so well, and thanks to everyone who came along.
It was a memorable occasion for all of the right reasons, fantastic food, amazing beer and lots of cool people. Sláinte!