Thirsty Barrel Taphouse & Grill’s owner Craig Davis hosted his first meet the brewer event featuring a lunch with Revision Brewery’s owner/brewer Jeremy Warren. The sold-out crowd gathered around 2pm at two long communal tables in anticipation of great beer to come from the former brewer and creator of the amazing beers from Knee Deep Brewery in Auburn. Warren left to open his own brewery finally settling on a location in Sparks, Nevada.
The lunch was an inspired creation of Chef de beer James Herzig to show case the five beers being served by Warren. Another three beers were available on the mini-tap takeover at Thirsty Barrel (they have 30 taps after all).
The first course was house made soft pretzel sticks with beer cheese sauce with pickled local vegies paired with Jeremy’s refreshingly clean Blonde NV that was 5.5% abv balanced nicely with 20 IBUs.
The next course was an outside-the-box deconstruction of the classic Spanish Paella with crispy rice croquettes providing everyone with the sucrate so highly prized in that wonderful dish. It included lobster, a head-on prawn with saffron chorizo cream sauce and baby cilantro. Truly amazing when paired with the Revision Hop Anatomy pale ale. The beer is just shy of IPA territory with 5.5% abv and firm hopping at 44 IBUs with Citra taking the lead in the aroma.
The third course featured braised Wagyu short ribs with citrus and coriander and parsnip puree with cardamom and spiced apricot chutney with a nod to Indian curry flavors (without the curry). This dish was created to showcase Jeremy’s sensational New England-style Social Fermentation Hazy IPA with juicy flavors and juicy appearance. Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo are featured but the wheaty malt haze keeps the bittering (35 IBUs) in check. A truly delightful paring!
Jeremy had never made a red ale until his No Collusion Red that was to be featured at this brewer’s lunch. Chef James came up with and equally red Free Range duck ragu with crispy polenta and a cured duck egg with local vegies. The malty red more than stood up to the duck ragu with its assertive malt base and aggressive Simcoe and Amarillo hopping. The beer came in at 7.5% abv with 45 IBUs of bittering. A delightful pairing.
Knowing that this “late lunch” had now become an early dinner, the assembled beer enthusiasts hunkered down for the final course — an inspired creation based on the classic oreo cookie. Two rather large chocolate and chocolate chip cookies made with mild stout were filled with a maple bacon panna cotta filling to look like the classic oreo. It came with a small glass of milk chocolate for dipping and Revision Brewing’s Imperial Milk Stout. Oh my. The beer reminded me of the old school Mackeson Triple XXX Stout from England but on steroids!
Attendees were given a Thirsty Barrel pint glass and were invited to enjoy any of the eight Revision beers on tap. Jeremy and his business partner Darla Roberts hung around to answer questions and schmooze with the adoring crowd.
I’m sure we’ll see many more brewery lunches and dinners from Thirsty Barrel in downtown Grass Valley but it will be hard to imagine a more compelling and inspired presentation of food and beer than this one featuring the incredible beers of Revision. Stay tuned.