Starting on Tuesday, September is going to be crammed full of different beer dinners— that is, a prix fixe meal of 4-6 courses that can range anywhere from $30-$85. Each course is accompanied by a beer picked to compliment the flavors of the dish. Depending on the beer and the cuisine, this can be quite an interesting (and enjoyable) process indeed.
On September 1, Ale on Oak Street is presenting a four course dinner featuring Goose Island beer for $30. Of the four courses that chef Octavia Fortier has created, the most intriguing looks to be the roasted Two Run Farm leg of lamb sandwich on brioche with pickled red onions and chimichurri salad. That'll be served with Goose Island's Matilda, which is a Belgian style pale ale fermented with Brettanomyces to give it an earthy funk which should pair nicely with the locally raised lamb. The dinner starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are available at the bar.
Restaurant August is hosting its first ever beer dinner on Thursday, September 3, in collaboration with The Bruery, out of Orange County, California. The bottle-only beers have been a staple at August for months, and the elevated and complex taste profile of the brand's beer makes it a great match for August's similarly sophisticated style. Dishes like royal red shrimp creole and pan roasted striped bass with turkey necks and rapini will be paired with Jardinier, a Belgian style "table beer" and the hoppy golden strong ale Mischief, respectively. This five course meal is $100 (inclusive of tax and tip) and tickets can be purchased online here.
On the horizon toward the end of the month are two beer dinners in the French Quarter. On September 29, Meauxbar will be presenting its last Summer Series dinner with Chappapeela Farms pork paired with regional craft beer. Details are still sketchy, but put that on your mental radar and keep an eye out for updates.
On September 30, Chef Nathan Richard at Kingfish will be breaking down a locally harvested alligator and using its various parts to create dishes like alligator jowl's satay, Engine 9 chili, and pan fried flank cutlets. Each course will be accompanied by an Abita beer from the familiar (like Andygator with the satay) to the new (Wrought Iron IPA with the chili) to the experimental (a chocolate weizen beer paired with the cutlets). The five course gator and Abita meal will be $55; call Kingfish to make a reservation for the single seating at 7 p.m.
If interested, definitely take the plunge and check one (or more) of these out—it fosters a different type of pairing creativity, and beer is still cheaper than wine, for the most part. And the only way they'll keep doing them is if people go to them.