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It Was Cookin' at Brewz n Dawgz' First Beer Dinner with Cigar City Brewing

When I first found out a couple of months ago about the first Beer Dinner being planned at Brewz n Dawgz in St. Augustine (December 22), I was intrigued.  After all, how does a menu featuring brats/hot dogs offer the culinary variety and flair usually associated with these pairings?  As I saw the food menu come together, my interest was further piqued (not to mention that it really sounded good). And, then I got the lowdown from owner Roger Lim on the beer menu (exclusive, I might add).  Nothing like a new place hosting its first beer dinner with some creative brews from the most recognizable craft brewery in the state of Florida, Cigar City Brewing.  










If you aren't yet familiar with Brewz n Dawgz, first of all, go back and read my earlier story here. It's a new craft beer bar that opened in July of this year at the southeast corner of US 1 and SR 312.  It features 24 rotating drafts of Florida craft beer, along with a large selection of bottled beers, and you can earn your name on the prestigious "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" list if you drink 'em. Moreover, there's a kitchen that serves up organic, non-GMO, humane food items in the nature of brats, hot dogs, fries and chips. It's not a "typical" "hot dog place," however, because this menu offers items such as a Breakfast Dawg, Cuban Dawg (my favorite), Cali Dawg, Spicy Dragon Dawg, Slaw Dawg, and Veggie Dawg options, along with organic chips and fries (with toppings, too) (see their online menu). 

So, how did they do?  With each food and beer pairing, Roger explained the food item, and Kyle, the local Cigar City Brewing rep, provided info on the beer. I hadn't heard of some of these beers before, as they are limited releases or only available in Tampa. Take a look:


Irish Cheddar Cheese Appetizer & Raspberry Wit/White Ale: three types of cheddar (whiskey, stout [smoked], aged white cheddar) with roasted sunflower seeds. Flavorful with a mild sharpness. Sunflower seeds a crunchy contrast. Beer: Florida Cracker Wit with raspberry puree (6%).  I'll be honest: I'm not usually a fan of wit beers, but the raspberry toned down the coriander/citrus of the wit enough for me, and the pink-colored beer was a delicious raspberry beer without too much sweetness. Good pairing, neither overpowering the other. 


3-Bean Organic Chili & Slow as Molasses Old Ale: Corn chips over hearty bean chili. Chili with robust flavor, not overly spicy. Beer: collaboration beer with SwampHead Brewery (Gainesville), poured from the bottle (10.4%). Dark amber color; sweet with a slight warming; alcohol became apparent following warming; no dark fruit flavors; very tasty. Good complementary pairing on strengths of flavors, yet the sweetness of the beer contrasted with the hearty chili.






The dinner was a sold-out event


Roger behind the bar...

Italian Spicy Beef Dog Bites & Hard Cider: Battered nuggets filled with organic pepper jack, jalapenos, and meat. Lots of heat on this one, and if you like spicy, this was for you. Good coating on the bites. Drink: Hard Cider (5.5%) made with apples from Pacific Northwest; sweet and slightly dry. As one who doesn't usually drink ciders, I was pleasantly surprised on the flavor. Good pairing of contrasting flavors: spicy against sweet.

Black Bean Burger & Blueberry Ginger IPA: Black bean patty with hint of datil peppers; the spice from the datils came at the end; a different flavor that meshed well.  Beer: Jai Alai IPA treated with ginger and blueberry (7.5%); slight ginger on the nose; more pine on taste with background of blueberry; different mix of flavors with subtle but noticeable hoppiness. Contrasting pairing of bean and spice in the dish, with cooling of the blueberry and different spice in the ginger.

Cheeze Dawger with chili, fries and cheddar & Lue Gim Gong Pale Ale: Grass-fed organic ground beef with fries, chili and cheese wrapped up in a bun. Comfort food meets upscale; a hearty and palate-pleasing dish. This was a favorite. Beer: Invasion Pale Ale with orange peel aged on white oak and orange peel (5%).  Less hop taste than the base Invasion pale ale, notes of vanilla from the oak; packs a punch of flavor from the orange and oak, very easy-drinking.  Named after Florida horticulturist, circa 1700s, known for working on the growth of the state's orange industry. Heartiness of the dish contrasts with the less-hoppy drinkability of the beer. 

Leftover Turkey Dawg & Peach White Oak IPA: Turkey provolone sausage, organic mashed potato fries, croutons from buns, topped with turkey gravy on a roll, with a side of cranberries. Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner on a bun! Tender turkey with subtle seasonings, and hearty gravy. Savory, wonderful flavor. Beer: Jai Alai IPA treated with peach (7.5%) on white oak; sweetness of peach with vanilla notes with slight bitterness on the back end, good balance with hoppiness; ridiculously good treatment.  Seamless complementary pairing here, as the lighter flavors of the turkey balanced perfectly with the slightly sweet but light peach beer. 

Brewz n Dawgz' first beer dinner sold out last week, and from my observations of everyone there, it was a definite success!  So, that's how you craft artisan dawgz!  Pair that with the creativity that Cigar City Brewing always brings to the keg and bottle, and it was an impressive combination. 

And, of course, there's an obligatory photo with this blogger:

With Kyle (left) and Roger (right), and...
a bottle of Slow as Molasses
Thumbs Up to Brewz n Dawgz and Cigar City Brewing on a fun, tasty, and even educational evening.  You cooked it up right!

Til next time, I'll see you around St. Augustine, Jax, or somewhere in North Florida. And, keep track of the events listed on the BeerSphere page of this site, because 2016 is pretty much here.... 

Cheers!

Peace, Love, Pints®

Linda