Vegetarian Beer Dinner

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You may recall that last year I set out to do my own vegetarian beer dinner. Three courses, three beers, two happy vegetarians. You can read about  what I served here on Vegology.

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Most beer or wine pairing dinners that I have seen are seriously lacking options for vegetarians. As much as I want to attend one, it seems like it would be a waste of money for a person who does not eat meat. Even if there were vegetarian options available, they most likely would not be paired as well with the beer as the meat dishes.

I do not expect a restaurant to accommodate my dietary restrictions, so I usually just skip out. The only exception would be the wine dinners at Secco, which always seem to have a great vegetarian option. Now I just have to rummage through the couch cushions and start saving my pennies so I can afford to attend one!

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This weekend I took matters into my own hands and hosted a potluck vegetarian beer dinner at my house. Some of my favorite food bloggers and beer geeks came together to throw one heck of a beer pairing party. Each guest was assigned a course and asked to select a beer pairing to bring along with his or her dish. I provided a long tasting table adorned with mini notebooks for taking tasting notes. The table was decorated with beautiful fresh flowers from Amy’s Garden placed in repurposed glass beer bottles.

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Guests used little placards to label their dishes and beer pairings. When each course came up, we shared what we brought, show-and-tell style, then everyone ooh’ed and ahh’ed at each other’s beer and food pairing innovation. Some people paired with complementary flavors and some with contrasting. Both approaches worked out great. We learned that we had a lot of beer and food knowledge in one room.

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The dinner felt really cozy (read: packed dining room), and rustic (read: haphazardly decorated). I think everyone learned a lot and made some friends. I was incredibly impressed with everyone’s pairings. It went better than I had imagined. So without further ado, I present to you the Summer 2012 Vegetarian Beer Dinner!

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Summertime Tomato Gazpacho with “Grilled Cheese” Straws by Sarah and Alex

Pairing: Bison Brewing Organic Honey Basil Beer

Sarah writes Smart Kitchen, and Alex writes I Eat Asphalt.

Recipe for cheese straws via smitten kitchen, with one modification: 1/2 cup whole wheat flour + 1/4 cup white flour.

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Bruschetta with Green Apple and Gorgonzola Spread by Adrienne and Al

Pairing: Hoegaarden Original White

Adrienne writes hippie itch and she and Al both love good beer.

Bruschetta recipe via MyRecipes.com.

Photo Credit: Brittany Mullins (EatingBirdFood.com)

Vegetable Tian by Brittany and Isaac

Pairing: Allagash Curieux

Brittany writes Eating Bird Food and Isaac is a legit home brewing beer geek.

Vegetable Tian recipe via Martha Stewart Living.

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Quinoa Tabbouleh by Bob

Pairing: *Home Brew!* Dirty Southside IPA, brewed by Bob and Kyle

Bob does not blog, but he knows more about beer than most people I know, and he is Kyle’s home brewing partner. We didn’t know the Dirty Southside was ready yet, so it was a real treat and a surprise that he brought some to share.

Recipe via Epicurious, substituting cilantro for parsley.

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Zucchini and Black Bean Enchiladas by Lauren (that’s me!) and Kyle

Pairing: Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale

The homemade sauce absolutely made the enchiladas. The recipe is by Emily from Daily Garnish and you must try it.

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Hardywood Blackberry Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting by Shannon

Pairing: Hardywood Virginia Blackberry

These cupcakes were topped with a blackberry from Agriberry, the same farm that provided the blackberries for Hardywood’s beer!

Shannon writes Thirsty Richmond.

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As the sun went down, the volume in the room increased, and everyone’s notes got a little sloppy. Isaac brought out a sweet, dark, caramelly Southern Tier Creme Brulee stout. Most us us had just enough room left to taste it. There was talk of pumpkin beers and Fall home brews. A suggestion that we should do this again very soon. The beginning of a plan for a vegetarian beer dinner in the Fall?

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If I have anything to do with it, yes.

15 responses to “Vegetarian Beer Dinner

  1. i heard about this party – sounds awesome!

    • It was so much fun! We might have to spill out into the living room and invite a few more beer and veggie lovers for the next one. :)

  2. Oh wow – I was watching Sarah’s posts on Instagram of the dinner and couldn’t wait to read more. I love Bison Brewing. AND I would kill to try your pairing!

    Is someone posting a recipe round up? And can I fly out for the next dinner? ;)

    • Thanks! I’ll post links to the recipes in this post as I get them. And if you’re willing to get on a plane, I think we can make some room at the table for you! :)

  3. Thank you so much for planning this beer dinner Lauren. Isaac and I both really enjoyed it! I honestly think Isaac was a little skeptical of a vegetarian based beer dinner but he walked about raving about the pairings. :) All the food was amazing and I actually already made a version of the quinoa tabbouleh tonight for dinner.

    Can’t wait for the fall beer dinner!!

    • I am so glad you enjoyed it; we had a great time! Of course I am also happy that Isaac is now a believer in vegetarian beer pairing. :)

  4. What a great idea! All of the food and beer looks great. I’m always bummed that I can’t go to beer dinners around town, so this is a smart/fun alternative!

  5. Al even suggested that we host it next! BTW, your enchiladas were sooo good! I always used to categorize them as unhealthy but yours are tastier AND healthy.

    • Thanks Adrienne; I’m glad you liked the enchiladas and I was so happy you and Al could make it! If you guys want to host next, just let me know when to show up with the beer! :)

  6. I am so looking forward to the next vegetarian beer dinner! Thank you for being a fantastic host!

  7. All I’m saying is Alex and I spent the whole drive back to Virginia planning the Plant (Based) Pumpkin (Ale) Pairing Dinner.

    Just saying.

  8. Pingback: Vegetarian Beer Dinner III | veg:ology

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