Wynwood Brewing Company, Miami's first craft production microbrewery, has been years in the making. After two years of heavy anticipation, their taproom opened in October of last year. A grand opening was held in December, which means you have no excuse of why you've yet to sample any one of their boozy offerings.
You've been busy though, so in case you haven't gotten around to taking a tour of their facilities or tasted one of their three signature brews -- La Rubia blond ale, Wynwood IPA, Pop's Porter - at any local restaurant and bars, Jacob Anaya is giving you a chance to do it the best way possible - with his food at OTC. Tomorrow night the chef will conjure up a three-course meal to match and bring out the distinct flavors of the local brewskies. We chatted with the chef about pairing up with the brewery, what his favorite beer snack is, and what you'll walk away from at Saturday's meal.
Anaya wanted to do something to really highlight and celebrate the Magic City's first local craft beer. Since OTC already has at least one of the brewery's craft selections on tap, depending on seasonal availability, chef thought it would be fun to do a dinner pairing. This is beer and OTC we're talking about, so you can expect no-nonsense and a chilled out vibe. In fact, dinner will begin with passed appetizers at 7 p.m. (when the event starts).
You'll be able to sip on La Rubia blond ale and socialize with others in attendance as you nibble on Okinawan sweet potato croquettes, local goat cheese with candied pineapples, and local Florida shrimp with a spam foam. Then you'll take your seat in the dining room where you'll move on to a BTM wheat, which will be paired a salad consisting of "flavors of the sun." Magic City Pale Ale is a special release that's never been made before, so you'll be the first to try it. Wynwood Brewing Company is dry hopped with Citra hops. Anaya will match this with a squid ink Spanish rice. For dessert, you'll indulge in a sundae with a twist and finish it off with a cup of Jose, a porter that's been infused with Panther Coffee for a real taste of Wynwood.
Miami New Times: Where did the idea to pair up with Wynwood Brewing Company stem from?
Jacob Anaya: OTC has always been the number one spot for craft beer in Brickell. It was natural for us to put together a beer dinner and what better brewery to partner with than Wynwood Brewing Company.
What are your techniques for pairing food with beer? How does it differ from food and wine?
With beer it's all up to the type of beer that you are pairing each dish with. For example, with an IPA you need to think about the dish that will stand up to the flavors and intensity of an IPA. I have to go a bit bigger and bolder with flavors to deal with the complexity of beer flavors. With wine you typically go from bubbles to white then to red and a port. With beer you can be a bit freer with pairings.
Is it tough to switch from one beer to another throughout the meal?
Not really. You can start off with a lighter beer and move into more robust beers later in the tasting. It is a tasting so you won't be having a full bottle of beer.
What's the number one beer snack or dish?
Salt n pepper chicken. Chicken thigh cut into cubes, dredged in rice flour then deep fried and seasoned with black and white pepper, sea salt and squeeze of fresh lime!
What can attendants expect to walk away with?
After this dinner I hope our guests have a better understanding of beer and the
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complexities of them. The beer movement is growing fast!
The three-course Wynwood Brewing Company and OTC pairing cost $65 per person excluding tax and gratuity and takes place Saturday, March 8th at 7 p.m.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha