The Pomeroy's First Food and Beer Degustation Night was, I am pleased to report, a roaring success.
A full house gathered to sample beers from the Yeastie Boys, Three Boys and KJD brewing, with brewers on hand to talk us through the beer's character and profile and the food match.
With an amazing menu put together by our new Head Chef Clayton, an enthusiastic crowd dined and drank, and in doing so helped to raise money for the University's Brew Club. Represented by Fraser and Hayden, they promised that they'd use it "to fight the good fight for quality" and that they wouldn't endanger any Ilam letterboxes, before kicking off the night with a robust (and "9%-ish") Saision and a delicious antipasto platter.
What followed was sensory overload in the best possible way. Ralph (Three Boys) arrived just in time to share his Golden matched to Garlic and Ale steamed mussels, and his Wheat matched to Bacon wrapped Scallops and Citrus yoghurt.
Stu from the Yeastie Boys then stepped up to share the last ever bottles of "Return To Magenta" which proved to be one of the highlights of the night. Stu's delight at it's aging cannot be repeated, but suffice to say he was as happy with the beer 10 months on as we were matching it with Schezuan-Peppered Eye Fillet.
Finally Kirsten and Dicky from KJD talked about their Eve's Cider, witch was a refreshing and perfect match for the Apple, Pear and Blue Cheese Salad.
With a touch of respite, our table shared our favorite matches, talked beer (and the woeful cricket, and later the woeful football), before the main course arrived - a stuffed chicken breast with all the necessary accompaniments, including Three Boy's IPA and Yeastie Boy's Punkadiddle.
Both of those beers were particularly brilliant, and indeed members of my table discussed who IPA had become our regular face on the Pom's taps, whilst I shared a story of paying almost $14 for a pint of Punk at a Wellington bar who shall remain nameless! The Punkadiddle's a nice session beer, weighing in at a mere 3.7% but with a flavor that's truly heavyweight.
Another respite allowed us to mingle with the locals and brewers, and it was great to be able to talk to the brewers about their product in such an informal way. The ever-trusty Craig from BeerNZ (without whom this evening wouldn't have happened) was also floating around sharing his beer knowledge and hinting at some upcoming gems to watch out for.
We seated ourselves for the last round, and saluted the chef. The best, however was yet to come. A decadent and divine Sticky Pear Pudding with bitter toffee sauce and vanilla bean ice-cream was placed before us and for once in the night the room fell (almost) silent. I couldn't eat a morsel more, but I could have eaten another three plates of this, it was amazing… and superbly matched with as Three Boys Porter and Her Majesty from the Yeasties.
Finishing the night with a sample of the freshly bottled Yeastie's PKB Remix, and the indulgent Chocolate Cheery Porter from KJD, Dicky Fife took us through cheese and beer matching with a selection from local legend the Canterbury Chessemonger.
We adjourned to the bar and I won't say that the night becomes hazy, but conversations took us well into the later hours, before I poured myself onto the drizzly streets to make the short walk home.
Congratulations to all involved, and thanks to all who came and supported the evening. I hope that you all had as great a time as I did, and it was both a stomach and mind expanding evening.
Ava assures me that there will be another evening, so stay tuned… and keep your eye out as Pom's are bringing the Yeasties back (both of them this time!) for a tasting evening on 24 January and trust me, you won't want to miss it.
- Tim Sugden, 22.11.2010 (twitter: @crafternoon)