The Genesee Brew House has been a great success for hometown favorite Genesee Brewing Company, providing a great test bed for the brewers to experiment with new flavor profiles in small batches. I took a late lunch to take advantage of an event called “Four Bites and a Flight” that paired new brews with interesting takes on bar food.
I worked through my normal lunch so I could arrive at the Brew House a little later and take my time. Since I was by myself, I ate at the bar, which was crowded with shift workers from the brewery. It’s great to see guys right off the line coming in to enjoy some of the product they just helped make!
The four bites were all in egg roll format, which was unusual. The first pairing was Spring Egg Roll and Brew House North German Pilsner. The Pilsner fulfilled its promise of a clean and crisp beer, refreshing and definitely a palate-cleanser. Next up was a Mac & Cheese Bacon Egg Roll, paired with Dundee Porter. The macaroni and cheese with bits of bacon was a good pair for the Porter, which stood up nicely to the richness of the filling. Did I mention there was bacon involved? It was pretty amazing.
I enjoyed the Brew House IPA paired with the Buffalo Chicken Egg Roll. The heat and flavor of the Buffalo-style chicken was a nice match for the hoppy IPA, which was smooth, and not bitter. According to the literature, the IPA was made with Amarillo and Simcoe hops. I used to not like really bitter, hoppy beers, but with so many IPAs being released these days, it seems brewers are really taking the time to balance the flavors and not try to kill you with hop overload. I did some research (about five minutes with Google) and found that Simcoe hops are a relatively new breed, first developed in Washington state around 2000, and its high acid content lends its unique bitter flavor, making it a favorite of American craft brewers. I looked up Amarillo hops, and found out its a trademark of a farm also located in Washington state. It high acidic nature and natural citrus aromas account for much of the flavor in the IPA.
And that was probably way more than you ever wanted to know about hops.
The most interesting pairing was the Caramel Apple Egg Roll with the Brew House Scotch Ale. Stuffed with apples, cinnamon, and caramel, I hope this item makes a migration to the regular dessert menu! The Scotch Ale was a great match, with nice caramel flavors coming from the deep malt. I felt this latest batch of Scotch Ale was an improvement over previous releases.
All in all, this was a great pairing from the kitchen and the brewery! The result was an immediate food coma when I returned home. Some of my friends were hoping to try “Four Bites and a Flight” but the special sold out late in the afternoon. This was an interesting experiment, and it will be fun to try others from the Genesee Brew House. Check them out on Facebook or visit their web site at http://www.geneseebeer.com/brewhouse.