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Living life at 222

It’s Friday and I finally have my desk cleared of all the clutter that piled up in my absence. On Wednesday evening, I returned from another week on the road into Boston and Philadelphia. I must be insane. First of all, I keep booking flights to the east coast during February when everyone is pining to be in San Diego. Secondly, my liver has decided that week long trips are getting to be too much especially when it involves drinking at the Extreme Beer Fest and spending time in Philly with Curt Decker and Tom Peters.

Living life at 222

It was a great trip as I got to ship out a bunch of our new and forthcoming releases. For Boston, we tapped the only East Coast keg of Angel’s Share Grand Cru, along with Red Poppy 2010, Framboise de Amarosa and other great beers. We have been working on these beers and tasting their progress for many months now and felt they would be well received. And they most certainly were. The Grand Cru is something that I think is expressive now but has the attributes to be amazing many many years from now.

Down in Philly, we had another Lost Abbey beer dinner at Monk’s Cafe. Very few places in this country know how to cook and pair food with beer better than Tom Peters so it’s never a let down when we go there. There were 54 tickets to the beer dinner offered this year and it took them 10 minutes to sell it out. Thank you to the kind souls in The City of Brotherly Lover who waited in the frigid conditions in January to secure tickets. We hope we made it worth your while.

The dinner started out with Red Poppy being served alongside Pate with a cherry sauce. The second course was Tartare of Salmon and Caviar paired with Carnevale 2009. The third course was the start of what is known as the “Monk’s Double Meat Course(s).” It was Quail stuffed with Sausage and Wild Rice. Tom paired this with Framboise de Amarosa and it was delightful. I think everyone knows I am a meat and potatoes kind of guy which is why the fourth course of Oso Buco and Potato Ravioli was high on my list. It did not disappoint and it was paired with Ten Commandments and Lost And Found. The Ten Commandments with its’ Honey, Rosemary and Caramelized Raisins really owned the dish- Sublime.

I told the crowd that I was most looking forward to the fifth course as it was a cheese and beer pairing. I found it amusing that I would be most drawn to the cheese and beer pairing as it meant that Monk’s actually didn’t cook anything for the dish. Yet, it was the beers that I wanted to showcase. Tom offered up Angel’s Share Grand Cru paired with an English Stilton that was beyond silly. We also had Veritas 007 (wiith Cabernet Franc Grapes) on the menu. This was paired with a Swiss Sheep’s Milk cheese. I would have had more then one plate of each had dessert not been put in front of me. The final pairing of the evening was Cuvee de TomMe with a Molten Lava Cherry Cake. Sweet mother of Nomutu Nectar. I was spent when this thing was over. Monk’s had officially risen to the challenge yet again and woven one of the most mystical tapestries of gastronomy for our beers that I have ever been a part of.

I think I gained about 8 lbs on this trip. Considering the amount of ridiculous food and beer that was always being put in front of me, it’s hard not to do so. I’m living life at 222 these days. It’s more than I like to carry around but sometimes you just can’t say no. This was but one week of my shrinking life. Albeit a very good one.

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