January 27, 2014

Spinoza's Beer Dinner

Since the days of student teaching my then cooperating teacher has now become my mentor teacher and even more so, a good friend. Debbie and her husband Fred are some of the greatest people I know. I always enjoy an opportunity to have a chat with them at school.

As long time Dayton natives, Debbie and Fred know all of the best places around. Sharing a love of craft beer, they invited Corey and I to attend a beer dinner at Spinoza's with some of their friends.

The brewery featured was Ithaca Beer Co. The dinner featured 5 courses, each paired with a different Ithaca brew matched perfectly with the flavors of the food. I was especially excited because I had never tried Ithaca beer prior too the event nor had I ever done a beer pairing/tasting before.

Upon our arrival we were warmly welcomed with live music and a Dragon Berry Spicy Lime Cocktail. The drink featured Ithaca ginger beer, Bacardi dragon berry rum, and lime. It was paired with skewers of fresh grapes with brie and seasoned shrimp with creamy mozzarella. 

The cocktail was refreshingly unique and easily one of my favorite drinks of the night.

After being seated introductions from the Ithaca representative were given and quickly followed up by our appetizer course. We had a creamy cauliflower and asiago soup, probably my favorite course, paired with Ithaca's Sixteenth Anniversary Excelsior. 
This beer was probably my favorite brew--dark in color yet light in taste.

Next up was a winter salad of baby kale lettuce, roasted butternut squash, goat cheese, toasted cashews, orange wedges and a zesty citrus vinaigrette. This was paired with the Galaxy Dry-Hopped Flower Power IPA--cask edition. I loved the salad but in my few experiences so far I'm learning IPA's in general are too bitter for my liking.

The main event was one of Spinoza's gourmet pizzas paired with CascaZilla, an American Amber/Red Ale. The pizza was a thick organic rye flour crust topped with garlic clove oil, Finger Lake duck breast, roasted sunchokes, caramelized red onion, New York aged cheddar, and fresh rosemary. 

They don't kid around with their pizzas! So much pizza goodness was going on in there! The beer was pretty good too!

Our final course was dessert which was a creamy homemade ice cream. It was neat to find out that Spinoza's proudly produces unique ice cream flavors all made right there in-house. We had black cherry ice cream with Fleur de Sel hazelnut praline. 
The perfect finale to a great dinner was paired with Cold Front, a Belgian style dark ale. 

I think what makes good food great is the company you get to enjoy it with. Of course my blog happy self only managed to take pictures of food, but we all warmed the bitter cold night with plenty of laughter and conversation and had a great time together. Spinoza's holds tasting events often so we will definitely be back!

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