Written by: Katrina Vargas Vila
David Rodriguez of Wynwood Brewing and Executive Chef Clark Brown spent some grueling hours in the kitchen creating recipes that would go hand in hand with the flavor profiles of quite a few craft beers that were specially selected for this collaboration. I know, poor them right? I would have volunteered to take on this job for days! The collaboration wasn’t just about finding the perfect pairings, but also incorporating the beers into each dish leading to a very cohesive (and delicious) meal.
As my husband and I sat at the table and made some new friends, we were served La Rubia paired with Shrimp Ceviche. The ceviche was fresh with a nice kick to it with spicy peppers and citrus juice. La Rubia is a light beer that is perfect for cooling off on a hot Miami day (or cooling down your tongue after taking a bite of this ceviche), so it made this pairing a winner!
First place for “puniest” beer name ever was our second beer pairing of the night. Guava the Hut, a Berliner Weisse style beer, has a mild sour start and a subtly sweet finish. It pairs wonderfully with fatty foods and cheese and thus was served with local Florida figs reduced in the beer itself. I could taste some honey in the delicious vinaigrette that was served over fresh Burrata cheese. This course was one of my favorites of the night. Honestly, it was amazing and if they had just served us those figs over and over again at each course I wouldn’t have been disappointed whatsoever! Guava the Hut’s flavor profile completely changed after taking a bite of the sweet figs and the guava flavors really shined.
Wyntoberfest came in first place for best beer of the night almost unanimously at our end of the table. This hoppy blend of American beers has a well-balanced malt and citrus flavor profile. It was paired with local Pompano, fennel, and roasted red onion. Pompano is not my favorite kind of fish, however the Chef made sure it took on all the savory flavors it was served with. He also seared the skin resulting in a thin layer of light crisp on one side of the filet.
Our third course of the night was a savory pork tasting that included roasted shoulder, beer sausage and baby carrots. As with each course, I really loved how the meal had its respective beer pairing incorporated in a unique way. The pork shoulder was marinated in beer for two days and the beer sausage was so incredibly flavorful. I’m Cuban, so I grew up eating pork. In my opinion, the fattier the pork the tastier it is. I really enjoyed the variety of flavors and textures I sampled in this dish. I definitely felt like a little piggy after this course but I’d do it all over again if I could! The imperial red ale that was paired with all this porky goodness was the Wynwood Fox. I learned that this beer is powerful and is not to be drank like water, but sipped and appreciated.
BEST COURSE – DESSERT
I never would have imagined that chocolate could be paired with beer and I wasn’t alone! As we were presented with Chocolate Opera Cake along with Wynwood Brewing Company’s award winning robust porter, Pop’s Porter, I heard quite a few others say “Wow, I’ve never had beer with dessert.” There was so much going on on my plate and it surprisingly all came together so nicely. The cake was actually a sponge cake that had been soaked in Pop’s Porter and topped with chocolate ganache. It was so light and fluffy yet decadent with its strong and slightly bitter chocolate flavors. It would be a sin not to serve this decadent dessert with vanilla ice cream so off to the side sat a scoop resting on what tasted like a coffee/chocolate biscuit crumble. Pop’s Porter, a robust blend of malts that are filtered through Panther Coffee grains, has such a powerful coffee flavor that it could probably replace your cup of coffee at breakfast. This beer is heavy but don’t be fooled – it has less alcohol content than the Wynwood Fox coming in at 6.2%. The chocolate and coffee notes found in this porter put Miami on the map when it brought home the Gold for Robust Porter at the Great American Beer Festival in 2014.