Celebrating its first anniversary, MittenBrew hosted its third BeerSocialGR event Wednesday night at Derby Station in East Grand Rapids.
The event — a collaboration between MittenBrew, the L&B Portfolio and local marketing guru Josh Leo — centers around tweeting during a beer dinner, using the hash tag #BeerSocialGR on Twitter. The push is to have heavily-followed users influence their followers throughout the community, and therefore bringing interest to everyone involved in the event.
Unlike the previous two events — which featured a number of different Michigan beers from different breweries — this week’s BeerSocialGR centered around Grand Haven’s Odd Side Ales.
Guests were treated to a spring-time menu by Derby Station chef Eric DeWaard, with each plate being paired with one of Odd Side’s brews.
The evening started out with the Derelicto Pineapple IPA, which was paired with Sunset-Wheat Salad Wraps. The wraps, which featured beets, carrots, jicama and wheat berries, paired well with the sweet, yet hoppy, IPA. I was pleasantly surprised by the smoothness of this brew, especially compared to other IPAs I’ve tried. The pineapple is just enough to give the brew some flavor, making it very well balanced.
The 4% ABV Peach Tea Blonde was next on the list, paired with Tea Time Cucumber Sandwiches. The group described this beer as “smelling like Snapple” tea, and basically “beer for people who don’t like beer.” The very watery mouthfeel gave way to a very easy drinking ale, with a lot of peach flavoring. The cucumber sandwiches balanced it out with its earthiness quite well.
One of the favorite dishes of the night was the seared duck breast, paired with Grapefruit Wheat (4.5% ABV). “I was wary of the grapefruit wheat but my goodness is it great with seared duck and spicy blueberry sauce,” tweeted Jeremy Bronson (@jbrons). The brew smelled surprisingly bitter, but only had a minor amount of hops from what I could tell. It was very refreshing, with the duck somewhat muting the bitter grapefruit flavor.
The fourth course included a Citra Pale Ale (5.7% ABV) and Grilled Lemongrass Skewered Shrimp. Citra, which refers to a cross-breeding of hops, was watery with some citrus qualities, and was very easy drinking for a pale ale. The hops also were able to cut through some of the spiciness of the shrimp dish.
But by far one of the most popular plates of the night was dessert, which featured Coffee Cake Tiramisu, paired with Dutch Chocolate Stout (6% ABV). The thin mouthfeel of the stout was somewhat unexpected, but paired well with the heavy tiramisu dish. The dish actually enhanced the flavors of the brew, which tasted a little like a black IPA, as opposed to a stout. “Tiramisu has the creaminess that the chocolate coffee stout didn’t,” said Leo (@joshleo).
In addition to the meal, guests were treated with a Right Brain Satisfaction Ale as the session beer for the evening. Each guest was also entered in to win one of two $50 gift cards, with the winners being Adam Schomaker (@AdamSchomaker) and Meegan Holland (@Meholland).
For more information on how you can get involved at the next BeerSocialGR, stay tuned to MittenBrew.com, or follow us on Twitter at @mittenbrew and @joshleo.