Upcoming Beer Dinners and Art on Tap



Beer from Boscos: One of 60 beers featured at Art on Tap.

As you probably know, craft beers are quite the trendy beverages these days, and Memphis chefs are taking note. On Wednesday, September 28, Chef Jordan Buchanan will cook a five-course meal at L’ecole Culinaire paired with beers from Southwestern Distributing. The menu looks divine. Here’s the pairing for the first  course: duck confit and fig preserves vol-au-vent (the filling is put in a puff pastry!) and tomato goat cheese flan paired with a beer called Victory Golden Monkey. Can  you stand it? The dinner is $50 per person plus tax and gratuity.

Two days later on September 30, the Grove Grill will offer beer pairings from Ghost River Brewery with a multiple-course meal featuring Gold Band oysters from the Gulf coast. The dinner menu is still being planned, but the star of the meal will be the oysters, which are delicious and fresh tasting because they are flash pasteurized at sea.

Both dinners should be well attended if the group eating and drinking at the Dixon's Art on Tap indicates local interest in craft beers, especially among young people. Sixty different beers were available for tasting at the Dixon Gallery and Garden annual event held last weekend. My favorites were Lazy Magnolia Indian Summer, a light, crisp beer with a citrus taste, and Flaming Stone Beer from Boscos. A  hot piece of granite (as in 700 degrees) is actually tossed into the wort of this beer when it’s being made. This caramelizes the sugar in the beer, giving it a softer and sweeter taste.

Tony headed in an opposite direction, going for richer beers such as Ghost River’s Black Magic and McSorley’s Pale Ale, which he described has having a “classic and distinctive taste.”

While the beers were the centerpiece of the event for us, many people seemed more intent on one thing: getting a pair of tacos from Las Delicious. The line snaked across the Dixon courtyard throughout the event, even though the restaurant’s two cooks never stopped moving. They grilled and chopped steaks, tossed the meat on small, soft tacos, and garnished the mini pies with green salsa and a strong squeeze or two of fresh lime.

Was it worth the wait? Absolutely, agreed Marilyn Fontana and Drew Koester, who are pictured here. “We have a system,“ Fontana said. “One of us gets the beer, the other one holds our place in line. When it comes to food, we plan ahead.”

Beer Dinner with Southwest Distributing at L'Ecole Culinaire, September 28. Call 901-754-7115 for reservations.
Beer Dinner with Ghost River Briewery at Grove Grill, September 30. Call 901-818-9951 for reservations.