Tonight I joined several food bloggers at Finale Dessrts Park Plaza who were treated to an evening of desserts and craft beer pairings: Exploring The World Of Craft Beers.
Our first dessert was this Frangipane Tart which was paired with Original Sin Hard Cider. The clean taste of the cider let the natural granny smith apple flavor come through and went well with the almond taste in the dessert, which is Chef Nicole Coady's favorite. The cider's alcohol content is 6% and would work well with lighter fare such as salads as well as seafood.
The Lemon Tart was paired with an Allagash White. Brewed with a generous portion of wheat and spiced with coriander and Curacao orange peel, the beer is fruity, frothy and refreshing. Allagash is one of the best-selling craft brews in the area.
The Fruit Tart at Finale is one of my favorite desserts. They use a sugar crust and butter with a high butterfat content which makes all the difference. The vanilla used is Tahitian which has a more delicate flavor. This was paired with Duvel Golden Ale, blonde like a pilsner but with the complexity of an ale.
This Mascarpone Mousse Cup was paired with Aventinus, a deep, cloudy brown brew with complex aromas of fruits and an unmistakable overtone of banana. On my first sip I could almost taste a quality of molasses. Chef Coady advised that this was the most difficult pairing. I am a fan of darker brews and absolutely loved this beer. It was also my favorite pairing. The creamy mascarpone, deep chocolate and coffee bean just seemed made for the sip.
Last up was the Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake. Finale's cupcakes are made with cake flour, never all-purpose flour. The peanut butter frosting was surprisingly light, not overly thick and sweet like some cupcake frostings in Boston, but packed with flavor. The Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock was the pairing. Another dark, very rich, very malty brew with notes of toffee and caramel. I am also a big fan of the bocks and my first sip tasted a real chocolate flavor. Great match.
Bryan Greene of Great Brewers Guild joined us at the event to explain the craft brews and updated us on lots of interesting things going on all over the country with the burgeoning craft brew industry. Great night and a delicious, interesting event.