Guest post: Great Sage’s vegan beer-pairing dinner exceeded expectations!  »

I am embarrassed to admit that I showed up about 40 minutes late to Great Sage’s beer-pairing dinner last week, and they still so generously served me all five courses of the meal, and even poured me a little extra brew to make up for my date abandoning me, even more embarrassingly. Good thing I am an emotional eater, and we all know a little alcohol solves everything.

Here is what you missed:

Tasting 1: Organic Lager, Grilled Romaine, roasted pepper, hearts of palm, chili crackers and rosemary-black truffle vinaigrette.
The grilling made this salad—the smell, the taste, the appearance. All of the textures together were spot on, and I cannot even get over those chili crackers, just like vegan Cheez-Its! The lager was light and clean, the perfect match for this light and clean salad.

Tasting 2: Tadcaster Ale, Quinoa and lemon-herb “tabouli” with red bell pepper and parsley garlic emulsion.
I was honestly full after the salad, but I managed to forge on through the second course. The tabouli and Tadcaster were the perfect combination of sweet and bitter. The lemon and bell pepper was zesty and light while the ale balanced it with a smooth, thick sweetness. The Tadcaster was my favorite beer of the four, as it was thicker than the lager, but not too heavy to easily down two (or three, or 10).

Tasting 3: Indian Pale Ale, Crimson lentil stew

with coconut and tomato over Indian curry fire rice.I keep referring to this dish as a risotto, because that is what the texture reminded me of. When the waiter sat it down on the table, the smell of coconut wafted from the bowl; when I dug my spoon in, it smelled instantly of sweet curry. Everything about this dish made me feel so comfortable and relaxed.

While I know many people seem to have a distaste for both curry and IPAs, I found this combination to be phenomenal. The stew was sweeter than spicy, and the beer was less hoppy than other IPAs I’ve had.

Tasting 4: Italian Oatmeal Stout, Crisp seitan-“feta”-spinach phyllo tart with garlic whipped Yukon potatoes and stout glaze.
The phyllo tart was incredible; it melted like (vegan) butter in my mouth. The filling had a strong black pepper taste that mellowed out with the addition of the sweet stout glaze. Not to mention, I freaking love Brussels sprouts!

The stout really surprised me. I usually hate stout beers because I think they taste like flat soda—sweet, but lacking that necessary carbonation. However, this stout was not missing that added element to me; it was just naturally smooth.

Dessert: Pumpkin cheesecake with pomegranate syrup
I want to describe this to you but I can only think of an incoherent synonyms for “epic deliciousness”—silky, pumpkin, chocolate (yeah, I think the crust was chocolate!), sweet, sour, crunchy, candy, creamy, yum.

The food was phenomenal, the beer was phenomenal and the combinations were perfect. The best part is that all the beers from the Samuel Smith Brewery, like all of the food at Great Sage, are 100 percent vegan!

Shay Kemble is an aspiring lifestyle writer in Washington, D.C. She believes she can bring humor to any situation and will do so on her upcoming blog.

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