The First Beer Dinner at Concepción
Brilliant minds working together with food and craft beers produce a delicious and fun-filled night to remember! I recently had the pleasure of attending a magnificent beer dinner at Concepción. Our host, Kyle White, paired a variety of craft beers complimented by a six course tasting menu prepared by Chef Jonathan Jones.
This was also a wonderful preview for some of the items that will be featured on the menu before the official opening. Concepción is now open for dinner and I’m definitely looking forward to going back for more!
Walking into the tasting we were greeted and escorted to the patio for a pre-dinner drink. A keg of La Petit Prince by Jester King Brewery was tapped and poured to be enjoyed with fried hominy and spiced popcorn. This was a light and refreshing start to prepare us for the evening. As we moved inside to be seated, a jar of pickled vegetables and a jar of barrel fish confit ( I love fat! ) were welcoming us to the table.
As we fought over the last bites, the first pairing was presented.
Our first pairing was The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale from Baird Brewing in Shizuoka, Japan, paired with a Ceviche of Salmon, Ling, Citrus, Chile, and Herbs. This was my first time having a Japanese fruit ale and I must say I very much enjoyed it. The citrus of the mikan fruit notes from the ale played elegantly with the balance of citrus and herbs of the ceviche- a beautiful pairing!
Next we had a Fantôme Saison from La Brasserie Fantôme in Wallonia, Belgium, paired with an Arugula Salad. The salad was constructed of Carnitas, Pepitas, a Grapefruit-Pequin Vinagrette, Citrus Segments, and Grilled Queso Fresco- delicious! I’ve discovered that I am becoming very fond of the Farmhouse ale/ Saison style of beer and the Fantôme is no exception.
From here we move forward to the Heady Topper from The Alchemist in Waterbury, VT, paired with a Seared Diver Scallop, Peruvian Wheat Risotto and Grilled Tomato Jus. The scallop and hops work very well together! I generally prefer maltier beers over hoppier beers but there is something about a Double I.P.A. that continues to grab my attention. The flavors seem more intense and balanced than that of a single I.P.A. and the bitterness is not as biting. There is also a pleasant dry finish. For whatever reason a double I.P.A. is always a winner for me.
This next pairing was my favorite! Here we have a Cocoa Mole from New Belgium in Fort Collins, CO, paired with Anticuchos: Black Hill Ranch Grilled Lamb Hearts, Sweet Potato, and Ancho Chile. The flavor combinations between the food and beer were fantastic! The savoriness of the lamb hearts, the sweetness of the sweet potato, and the rich spices of the ale were all very lovely together. I keep thinking about this one and hope to enjoy the pairing again.
Next we had the Beer Geek Rodeo Imperial Oatmeal Stout which is a collaboration of the Jester King and Mikkeller breweries in Austin, TX. This was paired with a beautiful presentation of Braised Short Ribs, Black Hill Goat, Roasted Beets, and Guajillo Chile- “Tablas and Birria.” I love beets, and they played a great role bringing together the richness of the short ribs and goat with the Beer Geek Rodeo. Just to give you an idea of the flavors, this Imperial Oatmeal Stout was brewed with smoked malt, chipotle peppers and Vietnamese coffee.
Our final course was the Raspberry Tart from New Glarus in New Glarus, WI, paired with a cheese plate. Take note that this is not your traditional cheese plate as the Smoked Bleu Cheese was brought to a temperature and consistency of ice cream! Amazing. Dressed with some granola and berries, the bleu cheese and crisp tartness of the wild fruit beer made for a very happy pairing! What a wonderful way to bring the dinner to an end.
The progression from each course was orchestrated beautifully with the tastes of each pairing building up the next combination. I think one of the best components of this dinner was understanding who was in the kitchen making it all happen. Joining Chef Jonathan Jones was Randy Rucker, Jean Philippe Gaston, Alvin Schultz, Troy Witherspoon, and his crew Graham, Carter, and Ted. Talk about an all-star team to have in the kitchen! It was an honor to be a guest at this wonderful dinner.
Congratulations Kyle White and Jonathan Jones for creating such an incredible and memorable beer dinner! I hope to see plans for another soon!
819 W Alabama St
Houston TX 77006