Every few months BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse hosts a beer tasting and dinner. We normally attend these dinners, in fact, we’ve only missed one and that was because we didn’t find out about it until it was over. I enjoy the dinners because it is a great way to try new beers and try menu items I might not normally order. Our local BJ’s hosted the latest beer tasting last night and featured their own beers paired with items from their menu.
Course 1 – Lightswitch Lager
Course 2 – Brewhouse Blonde paired with clam chowder
Course 3 – Camaraderie Ale paired with crispy fried artichokes
Course 4 – Brewmaster’s Reserve Double IPA paired with Black and Bleu-House burger
Palate Cleanser – Jeremiah Red
Course 5 – PM Porter paired with baby back pork ribs, white cheddar mashed potatoes, and steamed vegetables
Course 6 – Tatonka Stout paired with mixed berry and candied pecan cobbler
For the most part, the beer and food items were paired well. The dinner started with a taster of Lightswitch Lager, which is one of my favorite BJ’s beers. They were scheduled to serve their Oasis Amber as the first beer, but didn’t have it available, so they substituted the Lightswitch. The second course was paired well with the Brewhouse Blonde, a kölsch, complementing the clam chowder. The third course featured the Camaraderie Ale, which is brewed in Belgium by Bavik Brewery, and was matched well with the fried artichokes. The fourth course was the poorest pairing for me. While the beer and burger were each fine, I didn’t feel that the IPA and burger complemented each other well. The fifth course was the best pairing. PM Porter is my other favorite beer by BJ’s, so I might be biased on this one. I had never had BJ’s ribs before, and they were excellent. By the sixth and final course, I was pretty full, but the pairing of the stout with the sweet dessert was good.
Plenty of beer and food were offered and the service was great. The cost of the dinner was very reasonable at $35 per person, plus tip. Looking forward to the next tasting and dinner.