Turns out some things are becoming traditions. Based upon the success of last year’s St Patrick’s Day Dinner hosted by Umpleby’s Bakery and the Upper Valley Beer Society, and the resounding success of The Beefsteak last fall, we decided that this year we’d again host another St Patrick’s Day celebration and stout tasting.
We did things a little non-traditionally this year, however. Due to several people’s travel schedules (like the Beer Society president Andy being in Seattle), and several people having other plans on St Patrick’s Day itself, we decided we’d regroup a week later on Wednesday, 23 March. Which technically means that we were celebrating St. Turibius of Mogrovejo, the celebratist judge of the Spanish Inquisition and later Archbishop of Lima, and not St. Patrick, but I guess you do what you gotta do. I hope St. Turibius like corned beef, cabbage, and beer.
Being a beer society, the first focus of the night was on beer. Most everything was a stout, although a few members brought homebrew, and I decided to mix it up a bit by bringing a Potato Beer from Flying Goose Brewpub in New London, NH. We started with the potato beer (which was a lot hoppier and less potatoey than people were expecting, but we were all pleased by it), and then moved through a variety of the softer stouts (the classic Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout, Murphy’s, McNeil’s, and Belhaven).
Once the initial tastings were completed, we moved on to corned beef and cabbage, made by our host Charles, who again outdid himself cooking up a giant corned beef brisket to which he had applied just enough spice to give it a little extra kick. Rounded out with some veggies, and some of his as-always-excellent soda bread (I usually despise soda bread, but Charles has a way with it), and we continued our way through the stouts, working on the Guinness trio (Guinness Draught, Guinness Extra Stout, and Guinness Foreign Export).
After we had feasted on the corned beef, we moved on to some of the evening’s more solid and heavier offerings, including Long Trail’s Brewmaster Series Coffee Stout, Rogue’s Imperial Stout, and Brooklyn Chocolate Stout). The piece de resistance was the 2003 bottle of Dogfish Head World Wide Stout he’d been holding onto since 2003.
All in all, a very pleasant evening of food and beer, one I’m hoping continues as an annual even.