Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wauk Wednesday: Bernie's Tap Room Beer Dinner

Very similar to the dinner that I went to at Magellan's a few weeks back, I couldn't resist when I found out that Bernie's Tap Room was going to host a beer dinner. I had been to Bernie's a few time before, for drinks and then enjoyed the Waukesha Christmas Parade within it's warmth with a duck pizza. It was that pizza that told my tummy I had to come to this dinner.

Again my partners in crime were Tiffany and Brandon - we all love beer and food! The beer this time was Milwaukee Brewing Company, of which I am a HUGE fan. I took the tour for my birthday with my group of friends from Fox Run Sentry Liquor a few years back (RIP to the best store ever!). This tour gets you pretty "happy" as they are very generous with the pours while educating you on all things beer and their brewing process.

Brandon and I arrived a bit early and saddled up to the bar to enjoy a Fatty Boomblatty by Furthermore because we would be having our fill of Milwaukee Brewing Company for the rest of the night. Tiffany joined us shortly after and we were seated at the large family-style tables that are customary in German Beer Halls.

The same representative from Beer Capitol that did the Magellan's/Six Point tasting was our representative for this event. I was pretty excited as he understands the beers and the history very well. The neighboring table did this dinner as a birthday celebration for one of the attendees - very awesome!

Cake on the neighboring table - Happy Birthday nice man!
Beautiful wooden table at Bernie's Tap Room
We started with a Caesar salad with garlic crostinis on top. The salad was covered with the perfect amount of dressing and Parmesan cheese and the garlic toast on top was light, crispy and delicious. This was served with Ulao Wit (5% ABV), a clear (odd), light, citrus wheat beer named after the Ulao river in Belgium.

The next course was my personal favorite - Beer Cheese soup with popcorn on top and a pretzel roll on the side. The soup was nice and thick and tasted like a sauce that would go perfect on Mac N Cheese. I scarfed this down, dipping the pretzel roll in and enjoying the popcorn on top. I wanted more, but knew I had three more courses to go and needed to pace myself. This was served with Love Rock a Vienna Lager (5% ABV). This was a light refreshing beer that didn't overpower the soup.

Course three was a flatbread pizza of onions, asparagus, mushrooms, garlic and goat cheese (all hail the goat cheese - love love love). Neither Brandon or Tiffany are fans of mushrooms but they both ate the pizza slice and even had second slices. Asparagus was a nice refreshing touch that I wouldn't have thought to ever put on a pizza. No single veggie overpowered another and the crust was nice and crispy. This was served with Polish Moon, a milk stout (4.5% ABV). This was a dark coffee stout that really helped bring out the different vegetable flavors. Love that it is served in a snifter!

Veggie Flatbread from Bernie's Tap Room
The next course is the only course that is currently on the menu. But fear not, they are constantly tweaking the menu and offering specials to see what the guests of Bernie's truly want to see on the menu. We were each served two pulled pork sliders with extra BBQ sauce drizzled on them. They were a little messy, but the BBQ sauce is really good - a nice vinegary, sweet bite. The pork was tender and smoky. This was served with Hop Happy IPA (7.7% ABV). Although I am typically not a fan of the hop-heavy beverages, this one helped cut the zip of the BBQ - a great pairing.

It's about the get messy!
The final course was something that I was curious about since I read the menu waiting at the bar - ginger crisp waffle with vanilla ice cream and maple stout drizzle. Maple is typically hit or miss with me but this was AH-MAZING! The ginger waffle added a spice that was mellowed by the sweetness of the stout sauce. I didn't ask if the ice cream was homemade or not, but the sauce melting in the ice cream made for a great end to the meal. The owner came out with spoons so we could all scrape our bowls. This was served with Louise's Resurrection, from my notes, smooth, strong, vanilla, malty yum-yum beer (7.5% ABV). I couldn't believe how nicely this beer finished off the dinner - almost like an after dinner drink.

During the melting phase
Must eat it all
Bernie's really went all out with the menu and pairings and after talking with the owner after the event, this is something that they are hoping to do almost on a monthly basis. I'm not sure my waistline and wallet could handle this monthly ($30 isn't too bad for all that food and beer, but def the waistline can't handle the goodness), but I hope to attend another one soon.

I'm so happy that Waukesha establishments are stepping up to the plate and offering events like these to showcase their chef's skills as well as knowledgeably pair the food with great beers.

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