The Bier Markt invited me to a Goose Island Dinner with Goose Island Brewmaster Brett Porter and Bier Markt Executive Chef, Michael Cipollo.

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Goose Island is a Chicago Brewery on an island populated with lots of Canadian geese, which is how it got its name. Bier Markt is the exclusive carrier of their Honker’s Ale.

Brett was very knowledgeable about all of the beers, and taught us how to properly taste beer.

The first short sniff tells you if there are wrong sulfur compounds that shouldn’t be there. Second sniff is to appreciate full aroma. When you sip, you should move it around your mouth, covering your entire palate with beer.

Got it? Okay, here’s a preview of the new Bier Markt menu paired with beer.

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Baked Stuffed Salt Spring Mussels from BC. Mussels are stuffed with bacon, herbed bread crumbs and topped with a white butter sauce. Confession: This was the first time that I’ve ever eaten mussels….and I liked them! I don’t think I would’ve eaten them raw, though.

Paired with… 1-IMG_0452

…Honker’s Pale Ale. This ale was first brewed in 1988, and was the first beer ever made by Goose Island. This is an English bitter style beer that has the scent of apricots.

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Next up was a super interesting Beet Trio Salad. Roasted crimson beets, cider poached golden beet and shaved candy cane beets. My favourite part of this were the quinoa croutons. The quinoa was ground and fried into delightful, crispy golden puffs. Yum!

This was paired with…

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Sofie Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale.  The bitterness of the ale was offset by the beets. 10% of this beer is barrel ages in a wine barrel. Then, 40 pounds of oranges are packed in for 3 months and gives this beer solid citrus notes. Wild yeast adds “Belgian Magic”.

This beer will last in a bottle for 5 years! I really liked this beer and it’s elegant looking wine like bottle.

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I am not a huge red meat eater, but this 72-hour Short Rib was the best I’ve ever tasted! It was so tender, juicy, and fell right off the bone. This AAA Leffe Brune Abbey Ale braised short rib was cooked slow at a low temperature. This kept all of the yummy juices and flavour locked inside.

It was paired with…

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…a dark Pepe Nero Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale. This beer was created to stand up to hearty dishes, and it passed the test!  Pepe Nero means black pepper in Italian. It was brewed in 2013 and uses an unsalted dark roast malt in beer, with a large amount of rye. Black pepper is added to the beer during the brewing process.

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Last but certainly not least was the amazingly creative Dessert Charcuterie.

1-April 20142Looks can be deceiving! This board may look like meat, but is entirely dessert. The pate is milk chocolate. The proscuitto is like a grown up peach and strawberry fruit roll up.The red velvet “boudin noir” is a particular favourite of mine.

The “bread” is a banana bread crisp and chocolate “rye” bread. Peach and apple make up the terrine. In the glasses are poached pears, cherry & almond tapenade, and honeyed walnuts. This was so much fun to eat! Chef outdid himself with this one. And it was made even better with beer!

Dessert was paired with….

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…Matilda Belgian Style Pale Ale. This beer has a 9 day fermentation period. It ages over 5 years and changes overtime. This is one of the most difficult beers that they make…and it was my favourite.

1-IMG_0505Here’s Chef Michael Cipollo, the chef behind all of the delicious dishes you see up there.

Thanks to the Bier Markt for a great night!

Author: amanda

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