The setting for the Brooklyn Brewery Mash Slow Supper, a collaborative beer dinner with Boston pop-up kings Brasstacks which took place July 13th, was picture perfect. Makeshift dining table and seating made of black locust and white cedar set up along a Merrimack River filled with boats, all products of our hosts for the evening, the Lowell Boat Shop in Amesbury, MA.
Matching the picturesque New England summer backdrop would be a tough task, but it was easily met by Chef Andrew Gerson (Brooklyn Brewery) and Chef Marc Sheehan (Brasstacks). Inspired by the region and the history of the centuries old boat shop, the menu focused on just that; historical New England fare. Paired with each course was a Brooklyn Brewery beer proving, to me at least, that there are libations worthy of pairing besides wine.
The menu start to finish was exceptional, though there were several standouts. My favorite pairing of the night was a caveach of herring paired with a Crochet rouge Sauvignon Blanc. A caveach is a fillet of fish pickled in vinegar, and this take was served with zucchini, rye berry and egg yolk.. The Crochet rouge paired perfectly cutting through the acidity of the pickled herring with its sweet, floral notes thanks to being stored in old Sauvignon Blanc casks.
One of the courses that followed was every bread lover’s dream; a bread board. As a reminder to us all that there was a time when dinning was the pinnacle of social interaction (since replaced by, of all things, Twitter), Chef Marc pointed out that ‘breaking bread’ isn’t just an expression, but an actual physical act done to share bread amongst diners. We were all glad to follow tradition and break bread together. My bread board favorites were the homemade sourdough pretzel, and a sourdough loaf made with quahog and pork.
Coming in a very close second for “favorite pairing” of the night was the dessert; A vinegar curd with oatmeal, gooseberry and currants paired with the Brooklyn Chocolate Stout. The curd was not overly sweet, and the coffee notes from the stout was spot on. Plus, I’m a sucker for currants.
It was a memorable night to be sure, taking a glimpse at the past through cuisine with the Brooklyn Brewery and Brasstacks Boston. It was special. A chance to see what food was like then, and to remember that, no matter how fast-paced our lives can be these days, sometimes taking things slow can be a good thing.
Brooklyn Brewery is located at 79 North 11th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 11249 between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue. All proceeds from the Boston event went to Slow Food Boston, fighting the good fight for fair, sustainable food. Find out more about the Brooklyn Brewery Mash.
To learn more about Brasstacks Boston, check out their Facebook page.