Thursday, February 9, 2012

Beer banquet to the rescue

The menu. Five courses. Eight beers (4 oz each). Two-and-a-half hours of culinary bliss.
We hadn't been to a Free State Brewing Co. beer banquet in years. It's become a red hot ticket and you have to be on the ball to get seats. This year, tickets to all four nights sold out in 11 minutes online, but I was there at the opening bell, fingers blazing over the keyboard, and scored a table for six. It was a decadent thing to do on a "school night," but well worth it (and an excellent distraction from the increasing annoyance of my Efudex treatment.)
My unfortunate camera angle doesn't reveal the rare, lean loveliness of the rack of red deer from New Zealand. "Sushi grade," my son said, which turned out to be a fitting description.
The banquet pairs all kinds of beer with exquisite food, and you just can't believe how complementary the flavors are. The best pairing may have been with the entree (shown above): Rack of New Zealand red deer, blue and orange sweet potatoes, braised Brussels sprouts and red wine rosemary glace with....
Copperhead Pale Ale with a sprig of rosemary!  (Note to self: Investigate use of fresh herbs in various kinds of beer.) With the exception of one very small slice of brioche (topped with pan-fried fois gras, blackberry demi glace and toasted walnuts), there was no wheat in the whole meal. The beer was another story, but I'm using the "medicinal reasons" excuse this time. Today, back on the wagon.


Nebraskim said...

I love the Free State. Haven't been there in years (after my brother got his master's from KU in the late 1990s, we kinda stopped going to Lawrence) That meal looks delicious. Lawrence is lucky to have such awesome dining. Long long ago we used to enjoy a place that had a name like Nabil's. It had Middle-eastern food and was fantastic.

Maia Dobson said...

This banquet halls sounds so appealing based on your review. Me and family recently scoured Long Island catering halls looking for a wedding venue for my wedding. We've seen beautiful places there just like this one.

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