Barbecues, fresh fruits and vegetables are hallmark symbols denoting summer’s arrival. This weekend, the Atwater on Gore Creek culinary team infuses summer ingredients into the Small Plates & Craft Beer Pairing event on Saturday and at tonight’s Brewmasters’ Seminar: Cheese & Charcuterie as they kick-off the restaurant’s inaugural Sip, Savor & Brew on Gore Creek.
Sip, Savor & Brew on Gore Creek; A Culinary & Craft Beer Experience was designed as a weekend retreat for those interested in exploring craft beer up close and personal with the host brewmasters.
Designed to allow the opportunity for guests to explore the mountains on Saturday and Sunday morning, seminars and food pairing events are interspersed between informal discussions and tastings today and Saturday.
Hosts for the first Sip, Savor & Brew weekend are Kevin DeLange, founder and owner of Dry Dock Brewing Co. in Aurora, and Bill Eye, owner and brewmaster of Prost Brewing Co. in Denver. Eye was the brewmaster for Dry Dock for several years, and the two are fast friends as well as passionate members of the ever-growing craft beer community.
Atwater’s Small Plates & Craft Beer Pairing features four diverse craft beers selected by the brewmasters. The Atwater culinary team chose to keep with a summertime, barbecue theme for the tasting.
Prost’s Kolsch started the summertime theme with its bright flavors. “Granny Smith apples,” was chef Chris Bates’ first reaction. This evolved into a barbecue sauce, and grilled watermelon continues the summer theme complementing roasted Jidori chicken.
“Maple syrup,” said chef Jay Spickelmier, which inspired a maple glaze that evolved into a chipotle maple barbecue sauce and then finally to chili maple aioli. Prost’s Altfrankisches Dunkel evoked a duck and shiitake mushroom spring roll with grilled lime.
The most traditional barbecue dish is the smoked beef brisket and the accompanying grilled vegetable skewers. Dry Dock Bligh’s Barleywine is a cellar aged treat and the depth of flavor and hints of dark fruits in the beer spoke to a plum almond barbecue sauce.
The last beer, Dry Dock’s Apricot Blonde, is very familiar to the Atwater chefs, as it has been on a previous draft rotation and has been very popular among guests and staff.
The beer pairs well with the honey goat cheese small plate on the Atwater menu, and since chefs don’t like to mess with a good thing, chef Adam Smith volunteered to create a honey goat cheesecake with goat cheese ice cream, apricot-thyme coulis and spiced pecans.
Seats for the Small Plates & Craft Beer Pairing can be booked individually or as part of the Sip, Savor & Brew weekend package.
For more information about all craft beer programming at the Vail Cascade Resort, visit www.vailcascade.com and see “Dining Offers,” or call 970-479-1514.