Torrey Pines Beer Garden
Top chefs and brewers teamed up to offer bites paired with brews for the official closing event of San Diego Beer Week. With unlimited tasters of all of the beer and food, it's no wonder this event sells out every year.
Braised Goat Flatbread with Beer-Poached Pears
Paul McCabe repped his former restaurant Delicias, serving up braised goat flatbread topped with beer-poached pears, goat cheese, and arugula. The dish was paired with two options for beer: Otay Chipotle Stout from Stumblefoot brewery or Stone's Oaked Arrogant Bastard.
Smoked Razor Clams with Pickled Kabocha, Caviar Panna Cotta, Sorrel
Burlap chef Anthony Sinsay served one of the most ambitious dishes: smoked razor clams with pickled kabocha (Japanese pumpkin), caviar panna cotta, and sorrel. Beer pairings included a Boardwalk Black Rye IPA from Karl Strauss and Aztec's Chipotle IPA (one of two Chipotle brews at the event).
Thunderweizen from Lightning Brewery
This refreshing Hefe was one of the tastiest brews at the event, and light enough that you could easily go back for multiple pours. It has strong flavors of banana and clove, but is completely natural (with no additives).
Salmon on Toast
Chef Nick Brune of Local Habit proved he can do more than make a solid pizza with this salmon on toast, paired with Lost Abbey's Avant Garde and AleSmith's Horny Devil, an 11% ABV Belgian-style pale ale.
Pickled Beef Tongue on Rye Bread Pudding
Ritual Tavern chef Kyle Bergman deserves props for serving pickled beef tongue on crispy rye bread pudding with dill pickle and mustard. This was paired with Pacific Storm stout from New English and The Debutante, a Belgian pale ale from Societe.
Baby Back Ribs with Apple-Horseradish Slaw
Semi-swanky Pamplemousse Grille went with a crowd pleaser: BBQ baby back ribs with apple horseradish slaw. The juicy pork was paired with Rock Bottom's Bourbon Barrel-Aged Porter and Honey Badger Don't Care by Wet 'n Reckless.
Molasses-Chile Glazed Pork Belly and Chicken Liver Mousse
Carnitas Snack Shack chef Hanis Calvin gave pork its due with molasses-chile glazed pork belly topped with apple and frisee salad. The chicken liver mousse moved almost equally as quick. Beer options included Rock Bottom's Moonlight Porter and Green Flash's Le Freak.
Bacon and Egg Pizza
Pizza Port served a hearty bacon and egg pizza with Welter Wit, a light and refreshing wheat ale from San Diego Brewing.
Flatbread with Spiced Almonds and Coriander Cream
Bread-based items like flatbread with spiced almonds and coriander cream came in handy as a tasty beer absorption device. This came from chef Daniel Boling of the Lodge at Torrey Pines.
Hazelnut, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Mousse with Smoked Vanilla Ice Cream
Stone World Bistro served up a sweet ending: hazelnut, salted caramel, and milk chocolate mousse with smoked vanilla ice cream and a curl of carrot glass. There were two stouts on offer: Oggi's Black Magic and Coronado's Blue Bridge Coffee Stout. Both were excellent, but the smooth coffee undertones in the Coronado brew made it my favorite of the entire event.