A quiet settles over the small group gathered…to be interrupted only by occasional murmuring and delicate clatter of flatware and dishes and glasses moving from table position to mouth and back again.

Note: This article was written for Your Home with Karie Engels, published 11.7.13. Ginger is a weekly contributing Beer Writer at your Home – it’s a great site chock full of ideas & flavor!

This is a very typical part of a beer dinner – the quiet once the supping has begun. Last night I had the pleasure of conducting another one of these remarkably wonderfully delicious events.

Bandarillos await their turn at the table

Bandarillos await their turn at the table

In this case it was a dinner that was included with the tree I design and decorate for the Festival Of Trees each holiday. The generous donors to my tree are wide ranging and last night the fresh beer came from a local beer store and the food from a local tapas restaurant.

I’m very grateful for the gracious participation of those who choose to give. I only ask once primarily because I don’t like to be hounded when I’m on the receiving end of a request. There are donors that give year to year like Alpha Beta Hops, Ninkasi Brewing, Gathering Glass studio, and Bricktowne Brewing. This year we’ve new givers in Dogfish Head Brewery, Weisinger’s Winery, SkiDuck, Total Wine & More, OMSI, Mt. Angel Oktoberfest, Author John Holl, and Recology.

The dinner was a collaboration of three of us then and was enthusiastically embraced by the hosts, making it an extra pleasure for all involved.

We’re designing and decorating a tree again this year, with the live potted plantable tree sponsored by Recology. We believe that those who give believe in the power of giving back, community engagement and education. Indeed, it’s what drives WEB forward.

Colleague & friend, Chef Braden plating the braised pork belly

Colleague & friend, Chef Braden plating the braised pork belly

Here’s the menu we enjoyed last night.

New Belgium Abbey Ale paired with Bandarillas skewers (dried figs, chorizo, Manzanilla olives, Manchego Cheese)

      Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with Ceviche (Hamachi, Scallops, lime juice and zest, lemon juice, cilantro, shallots, sea salt)

      Lagunitas IPA with Andalucian Salad (arugula, Serrano ham, smoked blue cheese, black mission fig vinaigrette, chopped Marcona almonds)

      Crabbies Ginger Beer with Cider braised pork belly (Strong Bow Cider braised White Marble Farms pork belly, with mashed butternut squash, roasted garlic, crème fraiche, drizzled with braised Pink Lady apples and micro arugula)

      Southern Tier Crème Brulee and Flan (sweet custard, topped with candied walnuts)

Delicious? Why, yes. Cheers to the next glass ~

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Go Here: It’s the time of year for fresh apple ciders and perrys. Visit the orchards and cider & perry makers. Buy some deliciously crisp and flavorful fruit, bring some home to eat and decorate with, and give some to your local food bank (call first to find out the guidelines).

Try This: Host a fall beer dinner. It’s easy, fun and if you prefer, you can hire Ginger to do it all to let you fully enjoy the experience with your guests. Contact info here.

Categories: Beer, Beer & Food, Events, Good People
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