Pasadena: Beer Dinners at Kings Row Pub
Recently I attended a beer dinner for Smog City Brewing at Kings Row Gastropub in Old Town Pasadena. The $30 beer dinner includes 6 courses which is an outstanding deal. The next one is for Ommegang Beer on March 6th starting at 7 PM. Check out the menu here.
We started out with a nice crisp amuse bouche of a taro cracker and a fruit slaw. This went well with the Smog City Lil Bo Pils which also accompanied the beer bread course.
I loved making an open-faced sandwich of fresh beer bread with a bit of smoked gouda, smoked porter honey, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and topped with a bit of cornichon. The beer bread was dense, slightly sweet and really great with the flavorful cheese.
Next up, we had the Saison with an avocado and beet salad. The crisp flavorful beer went very well with the lightly dressed salad.
We really are very lucky to have such great produce even in the winter in Southern California.
I’m usually a cocktails girl but when I drink beer, I like dark beers best. The Smog City LA Groundworks Coffee Porter was rich and an interesting choice to go with the smoked clam chowder.
Clam chowder is one of my favorite soups and this one was pretty frikkin’ amazing. Chef explained they were messing around in the kitchen with miso and kombu. We said they had to put this on the regular menu. The clams were also very good and not chewy. The bacon was barely necessary but was very welcome.
The next beer is a collaboration between Smog City and 21st Amendment. The Imperial Red features ingredients from both the Northern California and Southern California regions including wine grapes. I’ve been enjoying Imperial Reds lately and this was a good one. California, all the way!
California Love went so well with the ducketta. The duck had a very subtle smoked flavor that was balanced with the tart mustard in the gnocchi.
When I saw the name Make Out Session, I thought it was the greatest name for a pale ale. And there was a slight head on the beer that looked like the Smog City tree logo!
I was intrigued how the beers rotated from light to dark and back again. The only rule that was followed was if the beer went well with the food. I’m glad the pale ale was chosen for the lamb because I think a dark beer would have drowned out the delicate spices in the curry. And the pale ale curbs the slight spice in the dish as well.
Finally we have The Nothing. We were asked to try to see how dark it was by peering through it. It was like looking down a dark hallway, you just could not see beyond the darkness. It is a double Imperial stout with a high ABV of 10%.
Kings Row sent out a candy bar for dessert. They compared it to a Snickers bar so think chocolate, gooey caramel and peanuts. I can’t remember the last time I had a candy bar but if they were all like this, I probably wouldn’t have stopped eating them. I had one small (okay, big) bite and that was enough for my not-so-sweet tooth. I can see why the Nothing was paired with the dessert. The creamy stout went really well with all the chocolate and caramel flavors.
I’m going back for more of that clam chowder and keeping an eye out for more beer dinners. I really have fun at beer dinners. It’s an easy way to learn about beer and food pairings that you sometimes don’t get in formal wine dinners.
© The Minty 2014