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Posts Tagged ‘Samuel Adams’

As you may recall, I recently had the honor of being flown to Charleston, SC to attend an all-expense-paid, super special beer dinner co-hosted by the Culinary Institute of Charleston and Samuel Adams.

beer menu

Prior to the actual event, I was sent the invitation above — which listed the various courses and pairings for the beer dinner. Other than knowing the tentative list of food & beers, I had absolutely no idea what to expect from the evening.

And any expectations that I might have had, were completely blown out of the water.

There were several highlights of the night –one of which included meeting and conversing with the phenomenal team of chefs from the Culinary Institute of Charleston.

Two such chefs were Chef David Vagasky and Chef Ben Black — the brilliant talent behind the fantastic appetizer spread.

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The Wench & Chef David Vagasky

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The Wench & Chef Ben Black

At the end of the evening, I got the opportunity to interview the main chef behind the entire orchestration of the Samuel Adams beer dinner, Chef Michael Carmel. Chef Carmel is the Department Chair of Culinary Arts at the Culinary Institute of Charleston-Trident technical College. He is a Culinary Institute of America graduate, 1978 as well as holds a bachelor’s degree from Long Island University, master’s degree at National-Louis University and he is currently pursuing a doctorate degree.

culinary-of-charleston

The music in the background of the video is fairly loud, which makes the interview difficult to hear. This is only my second use of video on my blog, so I will note this for future posts. Oh and disclaimer number two, this interview was unplanned and completely off-the-cusp. So if I stutter, sorry :) Either way, I hope that at least some of it is entertaining and informative.

THE BEER WENCH INTERVIEWS CHEF MICHAEL CARMEL

CHEERS!

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This, my dear friends (and loyal subjects), is an extremely important landmark in the history of The Beer Wench blog.

I am extremely honored and excited to present my first ever official Beer Wench video interview.

And if that was not cool enough, the interview is with the head brewer from Sam Adams –the one, the only– Mr. Bob Cannon.

BostonLagerPintGlass

As you may recall, I recently attended a Sam Adams beer dinner at The Culinary Institute of Charleston. While I was there, Bob Cannon was kind enough to let me interview him.

Since I was unaware of the fact that I would be given this opportunity, the actual interview is completely of the cusp. Nothing that was discussed was planned in advance — and actually, the “interview” flows more like a conversation.

As you will notice, the interview is in two parts. This is because both Bob and The Wench love to talk — especially about beer.

So without any further ado, allow me to present The Wench’s very first video interview with Bob Cannon from Samuel Adams.

SAM ADAMS INTERVIEW PART ONE

SAM ADAMS INTERVIEW PART TWO

Feedback is greatly encouraged!

Cheers!

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This past week I had the honor of being flown to Charleston, SC to attend an all-expense-paid, super special beer dinner co-hosted by the Culinary Institute of Charleston and Samuel Adams.

beer menu

There were several highlights of the night –one of which included meeting and conversing with the phenomenal team of chefs from the Culinary Institute of Charleston. The food and the beer were obviously major highlights as well.

But hands down, the ultimate highlight of the entire evening was the opportunity to meet, interview and talk beer (and other non-beer topics) with Sam Adam‘s Head Brewer, Bob Cannon. And get this — he not only sat at MY TABLE, but also sat RIGHT. NEXT. TO. ME.

bob

And let me just tell you, Bob is one heck of a guy. He is extremely personable and an amazing conversationalist. I could have talked with him for hours upon hours … upon hours … upon hours (and so on and so forth).

Prior to the actual event, I was sent an invitation that listed the various courses and pairings for the beer dinner. Other than knowing the tentative list of food & beers, I had absolutely no idea what to expect from the evening.

samuel_adams

Needless to say, any expectations that I may have even remotely had were completed exceeded by both The Culinary Institute of Charleston and Sam Adams. The Culinary Institute was beautifully decorated and the table settings were simple, yet effective.

I arrived at the event early with my good friend Lain Bradford. Almost immediately upon entering the building, we were both introduced to Bob Cannon. Even though I didn’t believe him at first, I was very humbled to have learned that Bob had actually heard about me and my blog prior to the event. (Apparently, “The Beer Wench” was a brief topic of conversation at the Great American Beer Fest … who woulda thunk?)

Bob was kind enough to allow both Lain and myself interview him. The footage will be released in the near future.

And now without further ado, allow me to present my Sam Adams Beer Dinner RECAP through the use of visual media …

Disclaimer: the following video is the first of its kind to be released on my blog. I used a FLIP camera to record myself prior to the start of the dinner. Ummm … enjoy?

Okay, so I might need a wee bit o’ practice in the self-video department.

Let us move on to the nitty gritty.

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Upon entering the doors to the Culinary Institute of Charleston, guests were immediately “bombarded with beer. We were forced to sample the Samuel Adams Pils and the Samuel Adams Ale.

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We were asked to vote which one we preferred best. And you will NEVER guess in a million years what The Wench voted for … :)

(If you even need to ask, then you are not stalking me well enough — tisk tisk)

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Soft pretzels and whole grain mustard and beer is a natural pairing. These delicious knots of joy were a slam dunk with the Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

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This was our modest cheese spread. Only about 5 pounds worth per guest …

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Super sexy close-up of the cheese. Ohhhhhhh yeah.

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That was some seriously coagulated casein. I’m drooling just looking at the picture.

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Mmmmmmm beer.

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Adobe chicken wings and livers. To die for. Really.

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Mussels steamed in garlic & Boston Lager. Absolutely delicious!

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The Beer Wench and Chef David Vagasky — the brilliantly talented chef behind all of the appetizers.

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The simple, yet completely perfect center piece.

The spit bucket was just for decoration.

I don’t think anyone  actually used it …

The table confetti consisted of two types of barley and dried hops leaves — which I proceeded to chew on at the end of the meal. HEY, hops are good for digestion. Among other things :)

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The Beer Wench with Chef Ben Black — the other brilliantly talented chef responsible for the amazing appetizer spread!

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The Salad Course: Shrimp and Citrus Salad paired with Samuel Adams Summer Wheat Ale.

The salad was super light and refreshing and the beer complimented it extremely well.

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The First Entree Course: Cajun red snapper with Texas caviar and mango salad with a mango Irish Red reduction. This was paired with Samuel Adams Irish Red Ale.

I loved this course. I would almost argue that it was my favorite. The Irish Red Ale was definitely my favorite beer of the night, hands down. (It is also Bob Cannon’s favorite SA beer)

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The Second Entree Course: Salmon Nicoise — Fennel crusted salmon atop a nicoise olive & haricot vert salad finished with a reduction of whole grain mustard and paired with Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

This dish was very tasty and the salmon was cooked perfectly. Samuel Adam’s Boston Lager is one of the only American Lagers that I actually enjoy.

duck

The Third Entree Course: Pan-seared SA Blackberry Wit Muscovy duck breast with blackberry-lemon gastrique and griddled Anson Mills hoe cake paired with Sam Adams Blackberry Wit.

The duck was out of this world. This was also the first time I tried the SA Blackberry Wit — and needless to say, I was impressed. Light & fruity. Perfect pair for this dish.

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The Fourth Entree Course: Hold onto your seats for this one, kids.

Kobe beef short ribs braised in SA Cream Stout atop a bed of roasted garlic buttermilk mashed potatoes and paired with Sam Adams Cream Stout.

This dish was absolutely pornographic. The cream stout was rich, thick and oooohhh so creamy.

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The Fifth Entree Course: Sam Adams Black Lager & chocolate ancho chile rubbed lamb ribs paired with Sam Adams Black Lager.

Ridiclous. Absolutely ridiculous.

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The Dessert Course: Paired with Sam Adams Cherry Wheat.

Part 1 = Apple walnut & cream stout tart

Part 2 = Malted chocolate gelato with macerated cherries, vanilla bean creme fraiche and SA Cherry Wheat foam.

I completely devoured both desserts. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if pictures of me licking the plate surfaced.The cherry wheat complimented both deserts very nicely. It was not too sweet and slightly tart.

uptopia

LA PIECE DE RESITANCE: SAMUEL ADAMS UTOPIA.

This is the strongest beer in the entire world. It is roughly 27.5 %ABV. It is only produced every two years — and will run yo about $200 bucks a bottle.

And what does The Wench have to say about it?

Wow. Just … wow.

I am still speechless.

Well, folks. That is all the photos I have to share from the event. The event was almost too enjoyable that I forgot all about taking pictures.

BIG THANKS go out to both Samuel Adams and The Culinary Institute of Charleston for putting on such an amazing event and allowing me to be a part of it. I had a tremendously wonderful time. The food was amazing and the beers were spectacular — but it truly was the people who made the event as enjoyable as it was.

CHEERS!

I am still speechless.

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Anyone who has ever remotely interacted with me knows that I possess (what we will call) the “gift of gab.” I talk a lot … and I mean a lot. This is partly because I think a lot … and partly because I think that I have a lot to say (whether or not what I have to say is important, however … is an entirely different story).

gab

Two topics in which I seem to possess a seemingly endless ability to talk about are beer and social media (specifically Twitter). I constantly find myself engaging others (often strangers) in conversations about both. And usually, these conversations result in me looking like the biggest geek on the planet. Which is fine by me.

Super_Geek

My love, passion and affinity for social media has introduced me to some pretty damn amazing people as well as has brought me opportunities that I would never have found otherwise. One such opportunity is a charity beer dinner with Samuel Adams (The Boston Beer Company) at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, SC on July 14th.

culinary of charleston

Little (well I’m not so little) old (technically I’m not old either) me got invited to attend THE ULTIMATE BEER AND FOOD EXPERIENCE. The event is being co-hosted by The Boston Beer Company and The Culinary Institute of Charleston with Special Guest, Bob Cannon — Head Brewer for Samuel Adams.

samuel_adams

And the best part? It is ALL EXPENSE PAID.

Now how does one get such an honorable invitation? This is where all of my time and energy on social media platforms has successfully paid off (hey Mom & Dad … look at me now).

twitter

Combine a passion for writing with a passion for beer and a passion for all things Internet … add in a community of equally passionate food, wine & beer bloggers … create interactions and develop relationships with this community … and you have one big OPEN DOOR to the (food & beverage) world. The connections and opportunities are endless on the internet — and especially on Twitter. And there is no greater proof than this latest opportunity that just “fell” oh so gracefully into my lap.

beer dinner

The image right above is the menu for the beer dinner. Select chefs from The Culinary Institute of Charleston have incorporated the beers of Samuel Adams into a tasting menu to be envied. In addition to containing beer as a major ingredient, each dish will also be paired with a Samuel Adams beer.

This dinner excites me for several reasons. Not only will it be the “ultimate beer & food experience“, but it will also give me an opportunity to taste some of Samual Adam’s more rare and less mainstream, specialty beers. One such beer is UTOPIA — arguably the boldest, most alcoholic beer in the world. Rumor has it that Utopia will be paired with one of the desserts. (I am praying that both my stomach and my liver will hold up until dessert — and by the sound of things, this may prove to be quite a challenge).

utopia

Naturally, every great event has an equally exciting & exhilirating after-party. Lucky for me, I have also been invited to attend the special “VIP” after-party with special guest and head Samuel Adams brewer, Bob Cannon.

Now I know what you are thinking — what is the catch? After all, there is no such thing as “free” in a capitalist society. Well folks, I have agreed to do somethings in exchange for a free flight to Charleston, a free night’s stay in one of Charleston’s premier hotels, a free ticket to the beer dinner and free pass to the VIP after-party. For all this, I will blog … and tweet … and talk about the event. And while at the event, I will also blog, tweet, talk — and even live ustream the event.

Beer Will Change The World

Life, my friends, does not get better than this. I get to do some of the things I love to do most in life (traveling, eating good food & drinking good beer with good people) in exchange for two other things that I love to do most (writing my blog & engaging with others).

Stay tuned for more information regarding the event! CHEERS!

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