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Tastemakers: Cafe Sante New Holland Brewing Spirit & Beer Dinner/ Avery Brewing The Reverend Belgian Quadruple Ale 3.28/11

Rick Coates - March 28th, 2011
Café Santé New Holland Brewing Spirit and Beer Dinner

At some point Michigan is going to have to address several of its archaic alcohol laws if it wants to be competitive with other states. One example is the inability to sample products at retail outlets, especially high end spirits and wines. Several states allow retailers to have sampling events or a tasting bar aiding in the decision making process which makes investing in $50 bottles of wine or $80 bottles of spirits easier.
In Michigan, consumers either have to take the word of the retailer or go to a tasting dinner at a restaurant like the one Café Santé in Boyne City is hosting on Tuesday April 5. The New Holland Brewing Spirit and Beer Dinner will feature a seven course tasting that will include a combination of their beers and spirits line.
Wine dinners have been popular for years and over the past 10 years beer dinners have grown in popularity and recently “spirits” tasting events have gained popularity. So this is a great concept of blending both a beer and spirits tasting together to showcase these exceptional products by New Holland Brewing.
This Holland, MI based company has become an industry leader here in Michigan in both the craftbrewing and spirits arena with the addition of their micro-distillery five years ago. New Holland’s artisan spirits division has been producing award winning whiskey, rums, brandy, vodka, hopquila and gin and big reason for their success is master distiller Dennis Downing who joined them in 2009. Downing’s passion and his explorative approach has helped make these New Holland spirits “top-shelf” products.
Couple this stellar lineup of spirits and brews with the cuisine from Café Santé in Boyne City and this dinner not only a great tasting opportunity but an exceptional value.
The April 5 dinner starts at 6 p.m. and is $45 and includes tax and tip. Here is a preview of the menu in order of service: Amuse- Bouche (French style bit size appetizer:Caviar canape / Frozen Dutchess citrus vodka, Belgian Moules & Frites: Steamed wild Maine Mussels & Belgium Frites / Golden Cap Saison farmhouse ale, Charcuterie Plate: Prosciutto Ham, Rabbit rillettes, House made Sausages / Charkoota Rye smoked doppelbock lager, Salade: Belgian Endive & Roquefort salad / Mad Hatter IPA, Sorbet: Knickerbocker Gin & Tonic with fresh lime, Fromage: Leelanau aged Raclette served warm / Night Tripper Imperial Stout, Dessert: Envious poached pear & Chocolate raspberry sauce / Envious a pear & raspberry beer. Seating is limited, for more information find the dinner on Facebook by searching Café Santé and call 231-582-8800 for pre-paid reservations.---Rick Coates

Avery Brewing
The Reverend
Belgian Quadrupel Ale

Speaking of tasting dinners, on Tuesday April 5, The Bay Leaf located in Traverse City on Park Street will host a five course beer dinner featuring craftbrews from Colorado based Avery Brewing Company. In addition to a great menu and five different brews the brewery is sending in a representative to talk about each beer. This is a nice addition and typical of these types of dinners having a brewery expert on hand to answer questions.
One of the beers being served will be The Reverend a Belgian Quadrupel Ale (next weeks Bottomsup will discuss Belgian style beers). This tawny colored ale from Avery is a “big beer” and contains several authentic imported Belgian specialty malts. This brew has hints of dark cherries, currants, and molasses with a slight spicy finish. The Reverend is very high in alcohol content (10%) but remains smooth and pairs well with meats and spicy foods. The high alcohol content also allows for cellaring, look for the this beer to continue to evolve over the next four years and expect the flavor profiles to mature. This beer recently won at Gold Medal at the US Beer Tasting Championships.
This beer should be served in a goblet or a nice red wine glass to allow for flavors and aromas to swirl about. Despite being quite smooth this has a slight whiskey burn to it, so this is a sip and savor style brew.
The Avery Brewing Company opened in 1993 and early on they developed a philosophy of brewing what they like to drink versus what the marketplace was demanding. This approach quickly helped Avery develop a following in the competitive Colorado craftbrew market.
The Bay Leaf Avery Brewing dinner has limited seating on April 5. It starts at 6 pm and advance reservations are suggested. Call the Bay Leaf at 231-421-5912 for additional details and to make reservations. --Rick Coates
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