Community Tap and Table

by | Apr 26, 2011 | Beer, Entertaining

Troy Bowers serving beer to Darin Michaels and Emily Baime of the Community Tap and Table Cooking Club

Beer and food rate very high on my list of favorite things. I was watching Sacramento and Company one morning when I heard, “beer and food”–that really caught my attention.  Emily Baime and Darin Michaels were talking about their Community Tap and Table Cooking Club cooking classes, which are designed to build your culinary knowledge focusing on seasonal, local foods paired with beer. With excitement I visited their website and shared it with fellow Brew Angel, Rick Reineman, an accomplished home brewer. Rick contacted Community Tap and Table regarding pairing some of his homebrews with food. The three of them gathered, tasted Rick’s brew and then Emily and Darin created a menu to pair with the beers. The date was set, beers and food chosen.

There were seven pairings. Rick had brewed five of the beers, Troy Bowers, my husband brewed one beer and one commercial beer was used. Troy and I joined Rick and Marilyn Reineman, Judith Sanderson and Robert Hershenow in Emily and Darin’s kitchen. The kitchen was set up with different stations for preparing the meal. We were all given a menu that included the recipes. From this we chose the dish we would prepare. Cooking in front of people is not really in my comfort zone, however, Emily provided a very friendly kitchen. I chose the salad. Some drank their beer, others worked on their dish, some did both.

The salad station

Shrimp, avocado, citrus salad dressed with an olive-miso vinagerette

 After preparation, we had the opportunity to taste all of the pairings. First to cross our palates was Rocky Racoon’s Light Honey Lager (an American premium lager) paired with a shrimp, avocado, citrus salad under an olive-miso vinagerette. This is the dish I had chosen to prepare–how could I mess this up?! Marilyn prepared the Baked Brie with Salted Clove Caramel. This was then passed amongst ust. We enjoyed the brie with sliced apples and Pilsner Urquell, which was our lone commercial brew.

Caramel station

Apples, brie, and caramel

Emily had prepared a corn beef to be served with Swiss cheese on marble rye – in the form of a Panini. Robert spread mustard, precisely placed the corn beef and cheese then pressed them in the Panini grill. On the same platter we were served Emily’s homemade jalapeno pickles . . .  “guaranteed to curl your eye lashes!” Heat frightens me, so I cut a small piece of the pickle – delicious! Paired with the Panini was a California Common, an amber hybrid. Most of us would recognize the commercial version, Anchor Steam. This pairing rated high on my palate.

The panini station

Next on the menu was Bacon Asparagus Soup, paired with German Altbier. This was refreshingly tasty! The soup was served in large shot glasses. Included in the asparagus soup were tarragon, parsley, and green peas. These ingredients are what gave it the refreshing quality. The altbier beer by style is crispier and hoppier which complimented the soup.

Troy’s Vienna Lager was served with Small Bites. The Small Bites were squares of pumpernickel with chopped marinated mushrooms. A nice transition to what I call “The Big Daddy.” This was a Brasciole filled with raisins, dried fruits, and aged cheddar paired with English Barleywine. Judith prepared the Brasciole by flattening the ground pork and dried fruit, covering it with greens, prosciutto and then cheddar. Emily carefully rolled the meat into a large log. This was roasted and then served in slices with Rick’s award winning Barleywine. This brew, with 10% alcohol, uses English hops giving it an earthy, musty flavor. This beer was awarded the Best of Show at the 2009 California State Homebrew Competition.

The brasciole station

Judith cutting the brasciole

To end our afternoon of food and brew, we were treated to Kobaisc’s Candies. Cinnamon and ginger chocolates paired with Belgian Triple. Another fine pairing! Kobasic’s Candies is located right down the street from Community Tap and Table. Rick’s Triple is based with coriander, chocolate, vanilla, citrus, black pepper and orange rind. The triple is high in alcohol – 13%, but very smooth and complimented the chocolates well.

Rick’s brew container from Deschutes

I recommend visiting Community Tap and Table. All of us enjoyed the company of our fellow cooks, the superb pairing of food and brew. Emily and Darin make you feel very comfortable while sharing their knowledge of food and brew… I left VERY satisfied!

~Susie Calhoun