Last night, the Federal's patio was transformed into a "ladies liquid lounge" for the inaugural Spirited Sirens tasting, "Beer, Bites & Babes".
Jennifer Massolo, "Chief Imbiber" of the Liquid Projects and founder of the Spirited Sirens, and Aniece Meinhold, owner of the Federal and former New Times writer, created a beer pairing event that schooled attendees about the history and different styles of beer, mixed cocktails containing beer, and food choices to pair with beer beyond tired old chicken wings.
Seating was limited to fifteen people, and over a dozen women showed up, including Tamara Schwartz (owner of Michael's Genuine and Harry's Pizzeria), two teachers, two mixologists, and the general manager of Sweat Records (a beer genius in her own right).
Here are some of the beers and food participants enjoyed last night at the Federal. Salud!
Mixologist and her sister, Tamara Schwartz.
Smoked tongue tostadas: Mesquite smoked tongue, tomatillo cream, cranberry, brussel sprout cole slaw, and cotija cheese.
Massolo explains why she created the event, "I have wanted to raise awareness among women as to why this craft beer movement is so popular. So I approached Aniece Meinhold at The Federal who was enthused to co-host a tasting connecting women with craft beer. The Federal has an excellent selection of craft beers, and of course great food, so this was a natural place for Spirited Sirens to launch the inaugural edition of the tasting series."
Jet, mixologist at the Broken Shaker and Sweat Records General Manager and Miami New Times Mastermind, Emile.
Smoked Floribbean Mahi dip: Citrus zest, sour cream, and homemade potato chips.
Why is Massolo so passionate about teaching others about beer? "People should learn more about craft and microbrew beers because as we saw tonight, there is a style of beer for even those who don't think they like beer. There is so much care and thought going into smaller batch beer production these days. Flavors and styles abound and they pair very well with foods and are lower in alcohol than wines and spirits."
Hail to the Chief (Imbiber): Jennifer Massolo
Crispy pork belly snacks; BBQ glazed slices of pork belly resting on a bed of Carolina-style brussel sprout slaw.
Massolo made clear that everyone has a distinct palate and that not all beers appeal to all people. So what does her palate crave? "One of my all time favourites is a Flemish Red ale called Duchesse de Bourgogne. It's a style that could be termed an acquired taste in that the palate is robust and fruity with a decidedly sour finish. I think it is great to drink on its own, but is especially good to pair with many rich foods."
She adds, "A favorite beer cocktail of mine would have to be the Mechilada which can be likened to the Bloody Mary but using beer instead of vodka. Aniece made a great interpretation tonight using lemon juice, celery bitters, traditional bitters, and a spiced rim! It's such a simple drink to make and there are many variations and interpretations."
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