Atwater on Gore Creek, located in the Vail Cascade Resort, welcomes the Colorado Brewers Guild to this weekend's "Craft Beer, Creative Cuisine" Brewmasters' Weekend. The monthly events feature a different craft brewery and brewmaster each month.
John Carlson, executive director of the Colorado Brewers Guild, is the September Brewmasters' Weekend celebrity, and to jumpstart Oktoberfest he is bringing three smaller Colorado breweries to showcase their wares.
This weekend marks the first Oktoberfest celebration in Vail and is a perfect time to celebrate craft beer. Tonight, all four craft beer representatives will be showing off tasty treats from Trinity Brewing Co., Rockyard Brewing Co., and Three Barrel Brewing in Del Norte as well as a mix of other Colorado delights, including beers from Odell Brewing and Great Divide Brewing Co.
When creating the menu for the Brewmaster's Dinner, the Atwater culinary team tuned into the overall Colorado theme. Carlson always brings the history of Colorado to the forefront, and this weekend will be no exception. Several of the beers were designed for this weekend with historical ingredients and processes in mind. "Rockyard's Dutch Pilsner inspired fresh, simply prepared Colorado fruit," said Stephen Belie, chef de cuisine, "and the resulting grilled Palisade peach with cinnamon apple compote and creme fraiche ice cream promises to bring Colorado to the fore."
Jay Spickelmeier, Atwater sous chef, described Trinity's Chi Belgian Pilsener as having more of an earthy minerality that drew a connection with Grant Farms organic spinach.
"The sharpness of the kumquat stands up to everything that's going on, while the richness of the egg yolk and cheese mellow out the dish and create a wonderful balance," he said.
Seafood was a natural progression for Rockyard's Bingeler Weisse and its amazing aromatics, and the complementing sea urchin butter cuts the acidity to round out the dish. Lead line cook Adam Smith added: "We were excited to bring in a real outdoor essence with the earthiness of Colorado wild mushrooms in combination with the Three Barrel's Wildwood Ale."
September's Brewmasters' Weekend pulls the Vail Cascade craft beer program through the summer season, and although craft beer programming will continue with weekly Wednesday Craft Happy Hours and Friday Night Flights throughout the slower season, Brewmasters' weekends will not resume until Thanksgiving Weekend. New Belgium Brewing Co., Wynkoop Brewing Co., and Ska Brewing Co. will round out the 2012 calendar year.