brewer’s plate 2014

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Two Sundays ago, Fair Food celebrated it’s 10th annual Brewer’s Plate! For its 10th anniversary, the event was held at the Kimmel Center, a change from its previous venue of the National Constitution Center for the past two years.

Cherry Grove Farm from Lawrenceville, NJ

Cherry Grove Farm from Lawrenceville, NJ


In typical Brewer’s Plate fashion, local restaurants/farms were paired up with local breweries throughout. The VIP section this year included a sausage contest, being judged by some Philly famous celebrities, such as Marc Summers (Nickelodeon’s Double Dare), Sheena Parveen (NBC 10 Weather), and Brent Celek (Philadelphia Eagles).

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Some of the tastiest dishes served included the English banger terrine with curried egg by Chef Sam Jacobson of Southwark, whom was being paired with Nodding Head Brewery. Nodding Head also served this interesting beer named, Lava. Named for it’s strong lavender and vanilla flavors.

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El Camino Real made a “drunken” maple bacon shake infused with Weyerbacher Old Heathen. That was delicious. I wanted them to fill my taster glass with it!

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Ari Miller from 1732 Meats had his black peppercorn bacon in a BLT at the DiBruno Bros. table paired with a beer & cheese soup.

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Samuel Adams offered some great beers, including Rebel IPA poured through a Citra & Amarillo filled Randall and their tasty Flemish red, Stony Brook Red.

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It was exciting to see some new local breweries such as Evil Genius Beer Company and Conshohocken Brewing Company, who will be opening a space soon!

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The Guerilla Ultima Food Truck served unforgettable lechon (roasted Berkshire pig) with sauces made from Evil Genius & Conshohocken Brewing’s beers.

Brewers Plate was and is always a blast. The change in venue, I thought, was a much better fit for the volume of people at the event. If you’ve been always thinking about going, pull the trigger next year!

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brewer’s plate 2013

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A few Sundays ago was Fair Food‘s 9th annual Brewer’s Plate! Brewer’s Plate was held for the second time at the National Constitution Center. This celebration of all things local was a great time. Several restaurants and farms were paired up with breweries to offer food and drink pairings. Here are some photos from the event (Tria’s Dunbarton Bleu Cheese and Consider Bardwell Rupert cheeses shown above):

Table for Fair Food Farmstand, located in Reading Terminal Market.

Table for Fair Food Farmstand, located in Reading Terminal Market.

VIPs were able to experience a guided tasting with Talula's Table's Aimee Olexy.

VIPs were able to experience a guided tasting with Talula’s Table’s Aimee Olexy.

Southwark's Pork Pate was paired w/ Nodding Head's BPA (not pictured).

Southwark’s Pork Pate was paired w/ Nodding Head’s BPA (not pictured).

The crew from Alla Spina, Steve Wildy & Chef Mike DeGanis, having some fun.

The crew from Alla Spina, Steve Wildy & Chef Mike DeGanis, having some fun.

Local brewers Forest & Main had some brews for tasting.

Local brewers Forest & Main had some brews for tasting.

Marcos Espinoza (Side Project Jerky) and Hahri Shin.

Marcos Espinoza (Side Project Jerky) and Hahri Shin.

London Grill's Duck Confit Banh Mi which was paired w/ Desaito Hard Cider

London Grill’s Duck Confit Banh Mi which was paired w/ Desaito Hard Cider

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monk’s cafe – lost abbey beer dinner

Guest blogger Erin is back to recap her experience at last Tuesday’s Lost Abbey beer dinner at Monk’s Cafe.

Tuesday night, I was lucky enough to attend Monk’s annual beer dinner with Lost Abbey’s Tomme Arthur. I first discovered (and loved) Lost Abbey’s beers last year, and on a trip to California in August, was able to visit the brewery and sample plenty of their Belgian-inspired brews. When I heard that Monk’s was hosting a Lost Abbey dinner, I knew I didn’t want to miss out.


The dinner started off with a fluke and smoked scallop ceviche, with just a touch of jalapeno, and was paired with Devotion, one of Lost Abbey’s year round beers. Devotion is one of their more hoppy beers, and it went really nicely with the heat from the ceviche.


Next up was a duck confit spring roll with a cherry dipping sauce, and paired with Cuvee de Tomme (which was also used in the cherry sauce). This is a big brown beer, (11%!) which is fermented and then sits in bourbon barrels for a year with sour cherries and wild Brettanomyces yeast. The end product is a complex beer with strong raisin, cherry and sugar flavors coming through. I thought this was the star pairing of the night. The roll was perfectly crisp, and the flavors of the beer really complimented the duck.


The third course lightened things up a bit. Lost Abbey’s Carnevale, a bright saison ale, was paired with a chicken roulade of ham, spinach, goat cheese, pesto, and mushroom sauce. The roulade was a really nice blend of flavors, and the pesto packed an herbacious punch that was balanced by the gravy.


Course four was definitely the boldest pairing of the night. The beer was a strong golden ale called Gift of the Magi, a seasonal winter offering, and was paired with a massive lamb shank. When I say massive, this thing was HUGE. Braised with Gift of the Magi, it was served with carrot, turnips, onions, and parsnips. The beer was a good match for the strong gamey flavor of the lamb.


Next was a cheese and beer pairing. The cheeses were L’Amuse Gouda from The Netherlands, two years aged with hints of caramel and vanilla, and Lauren’s Pride, a house made raw cow’s milk cheese washed with Deliverance, the accompanying beer. Deliverance is another big beer (12.5%), and is a blend of bourbon barrel-aged Serpent’s Stout and brandy barrel-aged Angels Share. The booziness of this beer was balanced out by the cheese, and even tempered the pungent Lauren’s Pride.


The final course was a warm apple pie topped with extra sharp NY cheddar, and paired with my favorite beer of the night, Red Poppy. Red Poppy is a brown ale that is blended with sour cherries and aged in oak barrels with wild Brettanomyces yeast, resulting in a deliciously sour beer. The sweet apples and buttery, flaky crust complimented the tartness of this brew.

The meal was really enjoyable, and Tomme popped in around each course to talk about the pairings, his history, and love of Monk’s. If you haven’t checked out Monk’s or Lost Abbey, I highly recommend both.

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brewer’s plate 2012


Fair Food‘s annual fundraiser, Brewer’s Plate, was held for the 8th time this past Sunday. This year’s event was held at the National Constitution Center. Like last year, everyone represented at Brewer’s Plate was from 150 miles of Philadelphia.


The VIP area was home to a cooking demo from Chef Jose Garces, a craft beer presentation by Bill Covaleski (Victory Brewing Co.) and Marnie Old (wine author & columnist), and several restaurants. Supplying some of the good eats in the VIP section was Country Time Farm. Their heritage pork was used to make porchetta sandwiches and bacon wrapped paté.


One of my favorites from last year, The Bent Spoon, an artisanal ice creamery from Princeton, NJ, returned with three new flavors: dark and storm (king) caramel made with Victory Storm King, organic ginger, and salted caramel; nugget apricot nectar sorbet made with Troegs Nugget Nectar; and a bourbon chocolate ice cream made with Yards Love Stout, 61% chocolate, and bourbon. Later on I found out that they had a secret Russian River float! You had to give them the special code in order to get it.


Across the room from The Bent Spoon was North Mountain Pastures with their assortment of charcuterie.


Several breweries and restaurants even had pairings together at the tables. Lancaster Brewing Company paired their Double Chocolate Milk Stout with City Tap House‘s chocolate custard.


One of my favorite plates of the evening was the MLT (mutton, lettuce, and tomato) from Southwark. I should have had seconds!


Bar Ferdinand had a Spanish-German pairing by serving lamb Merguez sausage topped with a Spanish onion kraut alongside Stoudt’s Brewing Co.


As much as I enjoyed the Penn Museum last year, the National Constitution Center served as a great venue to hold everyone in. It was large and it didn’t feel too crowded despite the high volume of attendees. In addition to eating and drinking, you could pose with statues of our founding fathers or dance to the music of The Hoppin’ John Orchestra.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This is one of the best food and beer events, don’t miss out next year. You’ll have a great time!

Check out some other photos from this year’s event:

Here’s my recap to last year’s Brewer’s Plate.

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