Most people think of baseball when Cooperstown, New York comes up in a conversation. After all, this is where "baseball was invented" and is home to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Beer lovers, however, will refer to Cooperstown as the U.S. home of Belgian beer. Duvel Moorgat USA, based in the picturesque town in upstate New York imports Belgian brands Duvel, Brasserie d'Achouffe, and Maredsous. It also houses brewery Ommegang, where over a half dozen different Belgian-style ales are crafted.
The good people of Duvel and Ommegang invited a small group to Michael's Genuine Food & Drink for a five-course pairing dinner.
Chef de cuisine Bradley Herron was tasked with creating dishes to work with each ale. Herron told diners that though he worked carefully on the right flavor profiles for each dish, he preferred to let us taste and talk amongst ourselves. With that, the first course was served.
First Course: Ommegang Witte was paired with housemade sausage served with radish, fennel, orange, charred onion, and a hint of grain mustard.
Second course: Duvel Single was paired with rock shrimp and chorizo arancini with smoked chili aioli, watercress, and shaved piave vecchio.
Third course: Ommegang Alley Brown Ale was paired with a wood roasted quail with creamy farro, pickled chili salad, and orange anise jus. Chef Herron told diners he wanted them to "get in and work" the small bird in keeping with the rustic ale that was served.
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Le Chouffe (a spiced ale named after gnomes), was paired with house smoked brisket, whipped Yukon gold potatoes, mustard slaw, and crispy shallots.
Dessert came in the form of whole smoked chocolate meringue pies served with cherry-vanilla ice cream, paired with Three Philosophers blend.
Here's the pie in all its glory.