Beer & Cheese, Cooking with Beer, and Beer & Chocolate

All of these were edutainment sessions I lead at last weekend’s inaugural Rogue Valley Wine (Beer) and Food Fest. As promised, we post the menus instead of handing out papers that invariably get recycled and not used.

Thanks to Lillie Belle Chocolates and Full Sail Brewing for the donation of their goods for the sessions. We’re also glad to feature the high quality Rogue Creamery cheese. Plus a thank you to Harry & David for letting us use their cool stage set up for best guest experience – Tim, Jeff, Kari, Brenda and crew. As well as Chateau of Hidden Jungle for his help with the beer.

Enjoy these ideas ~

Beer and Chocolate:

  • Full Sail Phil’s Existential Alt with Lillie Belle Perfect Illusion chocolate
  • Full Sail Session Black with Lillie Belle Purple Haze chocolate
  • Walk About IPA with Lillie Belle Lavender sea salt caramel

Beer and Cheese:

  • Rumiano whole Monterey Jack cheese with Walkabout IPA
  • Rumiano New York Sharp Cheddar with LTD 5
  • Rogue Creamery Flora Nelle blue with Full Sail Alt

Cooking with Beer:

The ideas here are innumerable and I riffed on using beer in all sorts of cooking applications. In addition to these I shared, here are a few more:

  • Dressings made with porters like a deep rich balsamic vinaigrette
  • Roasting red meats with deeply fruity beers
  • Quick breads with Belgians and hefeweizens
  • Sauces and reductions with flavors that fit

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Glassware Studio And Beer

 

gorgeous hand blown Gathering Glass globes

Gathering Glass hosted the Women Enjoying Beer Monthly meet-up last night with a full house in attendance. Keith and Scott, the studio owners and operators, were very welcoming helpful and glad to enjoy tasting the beers and foods on the menu.

A little background: We met at a glass blowing studio because Keith and Scott generously donated 30 hand blown ornaments for a fundraising festival we were part of last year. Bringing almost 30 women to the studio to learn about them, beer glassware and do our usual tasting of 4 beers + foods was a natural fit.

LOTS of questions were asked, most we were able to cram in, some will wait until next time. There’s so much to share about beer and to have a unique host location spurs even more curiosity, which is a big part of learning.

There’s never a lack of engagement, questions, and fun at these events. If you’re a business that could benefit from a lively group of women visiting to learn about beer on a regular basis, call us. We can help you set it up for success from the start.

If you’re a female consumer who enjoys learning about beer, seek these opportunities out. We realize there are still too few to satisfy and recognize (with full respect) that women want to know more about beer. That said, ask your local establishments to put them on. Smart businesses will react.

There's Moylan's in that glass!

Here’s the menu we enjoyed:

Moylan’s generously provided beer (Thanks so much!) for the evening and we mapped out the 4 choices. As far as food went, we suggested some things from the strolling “pick the goodies you want” selection and encouraged them to mix, match and discover as well.

Beers tasted:

  • Tipperary Pale Ale
  • Dragoon’s Dry Irish Stout
  • Ryan Sullivan’s Imperial Stout
  • Old Blarney Barleywine

Having both a ‘regular’ stout and an imperial was a particular bonus. We had one after the other and attendees could experience them very close together, which is an effective learning technique.

Foods available:

Mixed nuts, yogurt covered raisins, mission figs, black licorice bites, (dried) veggie chips, animal cookies, dried cranberries, dark chocolate malted milk balls, Wasabi peas, fresh french bread, and cheeses (medium cheddar, Monterey jack, Cojack, provolone).

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3 More At Swig & Stitch

Swig & Stitch is the brainchild of business person, Sandi Globus, Fabric of Vision. Last night was another great session of Sandi teaching useful sewing techniques around specific projects. Interspersed in the lessons by Sandi I lead attendees through 3 different beer and food tastings and pairings.

The goal is fun and useful education for all. And the monthly events succeed smashingly! Our host is very happy to have us, it’s a perfect spot and every month we’re getting ‘veterans’ and newbies.

Here’s the menu we explored (all beers on draught):

  • Guinness with roasted garlic humus and fresh carrots, celery, and slivered french bread
  • Lindeman’s Framboise with fresh sliced Bartlett pears, Granny Smith apples and red grapes
  • Boneyard’s Hop Venom with lightly deep-fried fresh jalapeno slices (YUM!)

Exploration and consideration are the names of this game. Go exploring yourself and discover tasty things. Doing it with friends is even better.

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2012 Spring Beer & Wine Fest Session: Cooking With Beer

Saturday’s 2012 Spring Beer & Wine Fest found us on the Educational Chef’s Stage sharing all sorts of great ideas on Cooking With Beer. (Friday’s session info here)

Beer has become a favorite ingredient of mine in cooking. It’s so versatile that once you start cooking with it, you can see why. Replace thinner liquids with beers, being careful to find complementary beer styles to replace. Here are a few of the many ideas we shared with a great audience.

  • Sauces with Porters
  • Gravies with Stouts
  • Muffins with Hefeweizens
  • Breads with Pale Ales
  • Soups: Gazpacho with Chili Beers
  • Crockpot: Red meats (like ribs) with fruit beers
  • sauteing & simmering
  • Baking: Chocolate cakes with stouts
  • Beerinades: Pilnser with lime/garlic/cilantro for Carne Asada
  • Ice creams with Imperial Stouts
  • Desserts: fruit cobbler with Belgians
  • Crusts & doughs: pizza crust with IPA’s

The list goes on and on. The Crux is to have fun using beer as ingredient. There are no failures – just lessons to repeat and recipes to try only once.

Thanks to Bridget and our hosts at the Fest for letting us Bring Beer To Life!

EXTRA TIP: Freeze any left over beer in ice cube trays to portions out in future cooking.

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Spring Beer & Wine Fest 2012 WEB Educational Sessions

Spring Beer & Wine Fest 2012

Friday found us at the annual Spring Beer & Wine Fest in Portland, Oregon.

We gave a tasty Beer & Cheese pairing session on the stage Friday with much success. As promised to fest goers – and is our habit to post menus following events – here’s the line up we featured:

The fun-loving attendees of the session learned to smell their beer and name some of the characteristics, including colors and flavors. It’s important to educate everyone on the value of being able to talk specifics about beer. 

Tomorrow: The Saturday Cooking With Beer ideas imparted at the Spring Beer & Wine Fest.

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Beer & Cheese Soup Question

From a female consumer, tapping into WEB as a resource:

Hi Ginger,
I have a question for you. One of my clients wants me to make her cheese sauce using beer instead of milk. Neither one of us knows what kind of beer to use. I thought you’d be the perfect person to ask. Any suggestions for me?
Hope all is well with you,
Amy

Cooking with beer - YUM!

Good Monday Amy –
Thanks for the ask.
Questions:
What kind of cheese are you using?
What kind of flavor do you want to end up with?
What is the cheese sauce being used for or in?
Happy to get you moving in the right direction – Cheers to beer & cheese – yum!!
Ginger

I’ll be using an extra sharp cheddar, she wants the sauce to taste like extra sharp cheddar (not milk) & she will be using it on asparagus.
I appreciate your taking the time,
Amy

Ahh yes – thanks!
Use something mild, since the cheddar will be sharp (clashing flavors = not good). A wheat beer can be nice, as can a mild porter or brown. Too much hoppy bitterness, while it can go with when paired as beer and cheese as they are, may not meld in cooking so much.
Let it warm to room temp if you can and be careful for foaming over once you add it to a warm pan (if that’s how you plan to do it – carbonation release is exacerbated by dramatic temp fluctuations).
Have fun – let me know how it works out.
Cheers –
Ginger

Thanks Ginger, I appreciate it!
Happy spring!!

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Beer & Cheese, Beer & Cheese, Beer & Cheese!

At the recent 8th Annual Oregon Cheese Festival, we had the pleasure to conduct the inaugural Beer & Cheese pairing session. Our friends at the Rogue Creamery (event hosts) were gracious, had everything together and the events was sold out – SRO even! Proof positive that festivals and events should offer fun educational sessions for the guests and attendees.

A BIG THANK YOU to Tom, Tasha, David, Carey, Anna, Francis, and the whole crew of Rogue Creamery for putting on such a well run and well received festival. Seriously – it’s one of our favorites because it goes sooooo smoothly.  And it’s very well attended because of that – the guests have a great time, which also makes it a good investment for us as well.

Sue & Larry, great helpers, prep the cheese

The audience in the cozy room were engaged, polite and had some terrific questions about beer specifically. A bonus for me as the leader of the session was that friend and colleague Matt Van Wyk, brewer of Oakshire Brewing, was also in attendance.

I’m one of those people who always welcomes anyone in the room – most especially the folks who are directly tied to the going-ons. Matt supplied 2 of the 4 beers I chose to pair for the session. He was gracious, fun and chimed in & answered questions with thoroughness and tact. I know the guests enjoyed having a brewer in the mix as well, particularly one that could speak to the beers in front of us.

The other brewer was in fact at the festival, as their brewery booth, enlightening more folks about beer – Larry Chase, Standing Stone.

Matt Van Wyk and other guests at the tasting

Since we rarely hand out paper programs that people have to then schlep around or toss or recycle, we always post menus on our site following an event. As promised, here’s the tasty line up we used to edutain and converse about.

The line up was a great cross-section of beers and foods to pair. The best ingredient of the tasting: The People. We’re already excited to get back to it next year.

As requested, we’ll cover why beer and cheese do in fact pair so nicely later this week. Thanks to Australian guest Mashka for asking. Stay tuned!

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“Green Beers” Menu

As a matter of course for WEB, below is the menu we served at the monthly meet-up we host. Women only, education based, highly social and fun, taken care of by hospitable host location partners.

We choose “Green Beers” ala sustainability. It’s the perfect time to not tint any beer food coloring green and to highlight the members of the brewing community that exercise Earth friendly practices. Our host, Standing Stone Brewing, has been recognized as a very green brewpub so it was an easy choice for us to return.

The beers are clean, solid and they brew house beers as well as seasonals. In fact, we even had the last of their barleywine, which had been covertly stashed for the occasion!

Enjoy other green beers, wherever you may be – by supporting your local brewer who is also supporting Mother Earth. Cheers ~

  • SSBC Amber with extra crispy garlic fries.
  • SSBC Barleywine with bleu cheese and candied walnuts
  • SSBC Double IPA with corn chips topped with humus and chili oil drizzle
  • SSBC Noble Stout with classic chocolate cake

 

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Explore First, Judge Later

Unlike Martha*, who superficially dumped “dark” beers together (“They’re smokey”) in this clip, Sandi, Leisl and all the guests were into the actually learning about beer at our monthly Swig & Stitch event.

Learn with an open mind, then form an opinion

In between really cool and useful sewing technique lessons, we explored and tasted 3 styles of beers matched with 3 foods. Our fabulous and always generous hosts, 4 Daughters Irish Pub, outdid themselves again.

Here’s the menu we savored:

  • Sierra Nevada Torpedo with house made clam chowder
  • Coors Light with crispy green beans
  • Caldera Toasted Coconut Chocolate Porter with vanilla ice cream.

Coors light? YES!! I lead these edutaining sessions with the intention to teach first and then form opinions. Hence I do not introduce what the specific beers are. We bring them out, examine them (visual, aroma, flavor, mouthfeel) and THEN disclose.

No matter the size of the brewery, they are all crafted beers. We’re suggesting you remain open – since all biggies were once smallies too.

Being a snob and eliminating what you think to be ‘fizzy yellow beer’ is not only bad for the beer community, it cuts you off from potentially enjoyable experiences. And that, my friends, is what beer should be all about: Enjoyment.

p.s. *It’s not progress if the info is wrong or incomplete and I’ve long respected Martha…she needs some beer education

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Oregon Chocolate Festival: 1st Ever Beer & Chocolate Pairing

Women Enjoying Beer presented the first ever Beer & Chocolate pairing session at the 8th Annual Oregon Chocolate Festival held last weekend in Ashland, OR. Our gracious and enthusiastic hosts, lead by the famazing Karolina, made being a presenter and vendor easy and fun.

Thanks to the guests who enjoyed an hour’s worth of lively tasting, conversating and questions. We featured 3 flavorful West coast beers matched with 3 delicious local chocolate makers.

Judging by the enthusiasm of the attendees I’d say we had a big success on our taste buds.

Many thanks to the generous supply of beer from the brewers and Lark’s Restaurant in the Hotel as well as the chocolate companies. The Hotel staff and volunteers from SOU were a big help as well.

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8th Annual Oregon Chocolate Festival 1st Ever Chocolate & Beer Session

now...where's my beer?

Come visit us this weekend at the Oregon Chocolate Festival in Ashland OR. It’s the tasty brainchild of Karolina at the gracious and hospitable Ashland Springs Hotel.

We get the express pleasure of giving the first ever Beer & Chocolate tasting session. Karolina was super excited about the idea so we’re thrilled to get to enlighten on the wonderful flavor experience of beer and chocolate together. YUM!!

The Festival starts with a special dinner Friday 3/2, runs 11 – 3 both Saturday and Sunday 3/3 & 3/4. We’ll be there the entire time, with the Beer & Chocolate session at 1 pm Sunday.  You need to register in advance and the sessions are open to women and men – and tickets are selling nicely.

Cheers to Beer & Chocolate!

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Febrewary WEB Meet Up Menu

Last night we used our monthly WEB meet up to celebrate our 3rd anniversary, albeit a few months later than actual date. Really though, not a big deal.

Happy Anniversary!

What is a big deal is that after 3 + years of Women Enjoying Beer progress, it’s encouraging to still see new women in the community where I live ‘discover’ WEB and want to be part of it. More importantly they want to come back. And bring friends.

Here’s the menu we featured to celebrate last night:

This time I didn’t tell the group what their beers were before partaking, which lent a fun twist to the discovery. Without being about to put any preconceived brand notions on what was in their glass, they were more open-minded (although they’re pretty good about it as it is).

The groups always have Veterans and Rookies. So the combination of seasoned participants mingled with newbies is just as good as sampling new beer for WEB. We consistently hear the same discoveries, aha moments and the same patterns, every time.

Onward into year 4.

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NRA Chef Survey of “What’s Hot in 2012” Includes Beer

If you’ve not yet seen the results, it’d be an interesting read to see the results of the National Restaurant Association’s Chef Survey for What’s Hot in 2012.

A few notables:

  • Top 20 Trends #7 Gluten Free/food and allergy conscious, #8 Locally produced beer and wine
  • Preparation Methods #2 Fermenting
  • Culinary Themes – almost the entire list
  • Alcohol and Cocktails #1 Locally produced beer and wine, #4 food-beer pairings/beer dinners, on-site barrel aged drinks, #7 Gluten free beer, #8 Specialty beer, #10 Craft/microbrews, #12 Beer sommelier, #15 Organic beer

Survey consisted of 1791 NRA members (what do non members have to contribute?), October to November 2011. They were given a list and asked to rate them (was there the opportunity to offer new non list ideas?)

Survey information is as good as the format, questions and objectivity of the surveyor. You can usually find interesting applicable information in them…just as everyone can.

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Full Sail Ahead: Smart Festival Tabling Materials

We recently participated in a festival in Central Oregon, the KLCC BrewFest. One particular thing of note today is tabling materials for breweries at festivals.

What you out on the table is a piece of your brand that consumers can take with them or admire. Have you ever asked consumers what they’d like to see at your table? If so, good. If not, why not? Chances are good you’re investing at least some money in what you’re putting out into the universe.

Be smart and responsible with your schwag

Make sure the money you invest is hitting the target AND generating further interest and action in your brand. Pointless, crappy, off color, or tired items need to be passed over. The world does not need more foam koozies (killer on mother nature too!), if you bottle beer you can offer bottle openers (I guess) although it’s a tired idea, and in general re-look at what you’re buying to give away.

Take full responsibility of what you’re offering – even though you’ll not be at the end of the cycle. Responsible companies that think these things through resonate with women and they’ll benefit from increased and stronger brand patronage. “Oh – you care about the earth? Then I’m more likely to try/care about your brands.”

The best giveaway from this recent festival I found and took home with me was from Full Sail. They had simple, well designed, easy to read Beer Pairing Tips cards along with recipe cards. BINGO!!

These are useful and usable items that make a minimum impact, are easy for supporters to mail to other friends thus helping you market further, and straight forward.

Beer enthusiasts like to cook with beer. Women are still buying the majority of groceries so putting smart giveaways like these will go farther than you think.

With the frenzy of inventive cooking being hot and lots of media attention around it right now, you can cash into this activity. Women and men will enjoy taking a nod from your brewery on how to use this incredible beverage as a cooking ingredient as well.

Simple, easy, economical, and no foam.

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Swig & Stitch Menu

Another episode of Swig & Stitch occurred last night – much to the delight of the hosts and the guests.

If you read our site, you may know that we are partnered with a well-respected well run fabric store, Fabric of Vision, in the town in which we live. The owner of the store and I have gotten to know each other and put our heads together to offer a second monthly event (Swig & Stitch) because the first one is consistently full. Read: no new folks can come, learn, and enjoy.

The wrinkle that we two put together is that beer is the ‘swig’ part, vs. wine of the first one. It’s going over with huge success. Sandi and her ever steady colleague Liesl do useful and fun sewing technique demos and I do beer and food pairings interspersed throughout. It’s another great way to highlight beer in our every day quality of life values.

What a treat it was last night to be with Sandi, Liesl and the guests at our ever gracious and wonderful host location, 4 Daughters Irish Pub. We’ve been searching for a permanent home for the newly launched event and I think we may have found it.

As we do with all the menus we execute, here’s the menu that we enjoyed last night:

Get inventive with how you feature and include beer. Depending on your market area, some ideas are getting passe. Talk with folks, put your heads together and have fun bringing beer to life.

p.s. the event is open to all comers – it’s almost entirely always women…..

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Swig & Stitch Menu

Thanks to the engaged guests, hospitable host (38 Central) and terrific collaborators for another successful Swig & Stitch last night.

I’m honored to be part of this successful and enlightening regular event with Fabric of Vision. WEB is involved to bring more beer to life.

As I promised to the guests, here’s the menu we enjoyed.

All these beers were enjoyed with a plateful of yummy goodies:

  • Aged cheddar, hard Italian salami, head cheese, sopressatta, sesame cracker, grilled roulade (eggplant & roasted red pepper), Italian olive, candied walnuts, almonds

Cheers & see you all next month!

See – beer goes with everything.

 

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Beer And Chocolate Tasting Menu

happy crowd with beer and chocolate

Women at our monthly meet up fully enjoyed the offerings and more importantly learning about how beer and chocolate can go together last week.

Our fine host, Enchanted Florist, a floral boutique and chocolate cafe, is extremely knowledgeable about chocolate so it was a great learning opportunity all around. We choose beers to go with the flavors of the real cocoa and organic chocolates.

Beers and any complementary foods you suggest and share grow increasingly attractive and flavorful when you provide the story that accompanies those respective products. Knowing more about what you’re putting in your mouth is a big deal. Make that information part of the program.

Try offering beer with chocolates to women and see what can happen. (hint: successful enlightenment!) We’ll be sure to do again based on the tremendously positive feedback we got that night.

Here was the menu we featured:

  1. Widmer Barrel Aged Brrrbon ’11 paired with Michel Cluizel, Organic Dark Chocolate. Paris France, Los Ancones, 67%
  2. Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat with Valrhona, Manjari Orange, France. 64%, with the citrus sweetness of orange.
  3. Rodenbach with Café TasseDark Chocolate with cranberries and soft chili. Brussels, Chocolat Bio, organic chocolate, 58%
  4.  MateVeza with Dolfin, Dark Chocolate With Earl Grey tea. Belgium. 52% A black tea with a dash of bergamot.

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Beer (And…) Womanifesto Decree

It occured to me early this morning that I never published the Decree I wrote and then delivered in honor of the Beer for Boobs Brunch 2011 (during GABF & Denver Beer Fest time).

The remarkable, smart, gracious, thoughtful and classy Stevie Caldarola of Ladies of Craft Beer and Freshcraft hosted this beerific benefit brunch. The hosts were great with it, the crowd participated and gave us a round of applause afterward.

Enjoy the decree this New Years day ~

Beer For Boobs Womanifesto, this 30th day of September 2011

Decree

We, the Women of the United States, in Order to maintain a healthy body, establish self examination, ensure comfortable clothing, provide for the common good health, promote the general Welfare of breasts everywhere, and remain proud of our chests and ourselves and our gender, and establish a more perfect Boobion, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Boob For Brunch America:

Article 1: All boobs deserve proper care and maintenance to ensure healthy adventures in the world at large

Article 2: All boob hosts are to be proud of their boobs and the boobs of others for as long as they are able to do so.

Article 3: I take it as my personal mission to support all boobs everywhere and also support the care and treatment of boobs less fortunate

Article 4: I will not stand by and let anyone malign any boobs for any reason. They are all deserving of respect and good will.

Article 5: I will respect and protect the boobs of myself, my family and my friends as needed and called upon to do.

Article 6: I will support the good health of boobs the world over, as a Goodwill Boob Ambassador, exercising diplomacy and Advocacy.

Ginger & Stevie with the Booby Prize, 2011

So with the above to be true, I hereby bequeath Stevie Caldarola the 2011 Beer For Boobs Booby Prize award for her efforts in extolling the boob virtues we are all here to support. [custom decorated bra]

Everyone raise your right hand and repeat after me:

“I _____,

Do swear to uphold and extol

The rights of healthy boobs everywhere.

I promise to be

Available to those in need

When they call upon me to help.“

Cheers!

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31 Facets of Women & Beer: Facet #31

On this New Years Eve, we wrap up this series with a final facet: Women, Beer & Food.

Make it automatic: Beer & Food, Beer & Food, Beer & Food…..repeat it in your head or aloud until it’s automatic.

I’ve had women tell me in no uncertain terms that they want to learn about beer paired with food. They only had to tell us once. And I’ll tell you why it’s important to heed this critical directive:

  1. Beer and food go together. That’s the first most obvious one.
  2. Beer and food should go together. If you’re promoting alcohol – beer – then you should feel a sense of obligation to make food part of that promotion. Moderation goes hand in hand with responsibility.
  3. Beer and food complement each other so well. They bring out flavors in each other that when standing alone may be missed.
  4. Women want to duplicate the pairings they have at events. Be sure to share menus, suggestions and ideas. WEB always posts our menus the day after events for everyone to reference. It’s green, available and they can do with it as they wish.
  5. The beer community and food community have much to share and benefit from mutually when they collaborate.
  6. We like beer and food together. Do you? Then offer it as such.

Women, beer and food. This is yet another universal truth: they go together, and should. Combine them and you’ll see much success.

Happy New Year for Women & Beer!

31 Facets of Women & Beer Series starts here

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2 WEB menus

Last week was full of great beer and food shared by superb company. Here are two menus accordingly. Use them and share them as you wish.

tis the season for beer & food together

Swig & Stitch inaugural Beer event menu at 38 Central:

  • Bayern Brewing Pilsner paired with Pilsner marinated sesame crusted chicken drizzled with Dijon aioli
  • Southern Oregon Brewing Porter paired with grilled eggplant stuffed with sausage and porter Balsamic glaze
  • Ninkasi Total Domination IPA paired with seafood stuffed mushroom braised in IPA with toasted panko

WEB Annual Hoppy Holidays menu:

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