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Check out The Rack for upcoming beer events

February 15, 2010 | admin

Good things seem to be underway in Lakeside this month and next. Not only is Old Stache’ back on tap at Tamarack Brewing Co., but they have a brewer’s dinner coming up March 11. Here are the details:

Once again, Craig and Roger are working their magic to bring us another amazing Brewer’s Dinner! They are hard at work on creating the menu as we speak… visit our
What’s Up page soon for menu details…

Only 42 lucky foodies will have the chance to enjoy this Brewer’s Dinner; to reserve your seats or to request a menu for our March 11th Brewery’s Dinner, email Andra or call 844-0244 ext 4.

Prost,

GG
RackCarWash

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The Beer Dinner

February 6, 2010 | admin

I’ve live-blogged beer dinners before, but I’ve learned that a beer dinner must be experienced in all its glory to really appreciate it. Last night’s Big Sky Blue Canyon Beer Dinner was the best one yet. It was standing-room-only, except everyone had a chair. Seriously good-size crowd.

The best part of the evening, besides the food and beer, of course, was enjoying the whole experience with the gang from Bitterroot Brewing. Their food, beer and promotion guys came up to see what all the hype was about, and perhaps make some plans for their very own brewer’s dinner in the future.

It was great to sit around with a bunch of beer lovers and confirm, at least to ourselves, that beer is really the best beverage to pair with food. Wine has its good matches, but it’s a simpler beverage and it’s picky. Not so much with beer. The hops, barley, yeast and alcohol provide such a better platform for the myriad flavor possibilities than do juice, yeast and oak. Sorry, not to pick on wine too much, but last night’s beer dinner was a showcase of different beer styles, from Belgian to traditional English and American Pale Ales, and foods as diverse as scallops, brisket and black garlic.

Many thanks to Larry Coffman and his very talented crew at Blue Canyon Kitchen and Tavern, as well as to the brewers at Big Sky Brewing Co. You guys exemplify the spirit of your crafts.

Look for more of these types of beer dinners coming up soon. I’ll be announcing several beer dinners through the rest of winter and into spring.

Prost,

GG

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Five reasons why you should sign up for the Big Sky Blue Canyon Beer Dinner before Friday

February 2, 2010 | admin

This is our third Big Sky Blue Canyon Beer Dinner, and I think it’s the best lineup so far. It takes time to dial in a good thing. The first year, the portions were out-0f-control. Larry Coffman, executive chef at Blue Canyon, does not do anything low key, and this includes planning an extraordinary beer dinner. I think everyone left that night totally impressed with the meal, if not a little stuffed. The second year saw some modifications, including a planning tasting where Larry would run off to the kitchen with the tasting notes from each beer style. He’d return a few minutes later with something amazing and totally appropriate to the beer. Portion sizes were large still, but the dinner was a little slower and ultimately completely satisfying.

This year promises new ingredients, including the latest revelation from Larry, Moose Drool bread with black garlic. There is some interesting ice cream/beer combinations and a fascinating play on Ivan the Terrible and Kahlua that you won’t want to miss.

Part of the value in this beer dinner is that over the last three years of working with Matt Long, head brewer at Big Sky, and Larry is that there is now a familiarity with the beer styles as well as Larry’s cooking style. This familiarity really highlights the flavors to a completely new level. If you have never considered that beer can be better than wine when paired with food, then you owe yourself  a reservation for Friday night.

But let me give you some real reasons not to miss Friday’s amazing beer dinner:

5. You can count is as Valentines Day dinner

4. You’ve always wanted to try basil watermelon sorbet with beer

3. Because it’s Super Bowl weekend, and you’ve worked too hard not to celebrate like this

2. You’ve looked all around town, and you can’t find a better deal on a five-course meal

1. Larry Coffman’s food + Matt Long’s Big Sky beer = perfection

Here’s one more bonus reason:

1st Course

Baby Greens Salad, Apple Cider Viniagrete, Dehydrated Apple Chips,
Spiced Pecan Crusted Amalethia Goat Cheese
Beer: Big Sky Powder Hound

2nd Course
Herb Grilled Sea Scallop, Caramelized Shallot Orange Glaze,
Tarragon Foam
Beer: Big Sky Belgian Triple

Intermezzo
Basil, Watermelon Sorbet

3rd Course
Crispy Seared Hutterite Duck Breast, Black Garlic Spaetzle,
Blackberry-Fig Balsamic Glaze
Beer: Big Sky Kriek

4th Course
Braised Smoked Brisket, Crispy Widmer Cheddar Perogi, Port Demi
Beer: Big Sky Robust Porter

5th Course
Milk Chocolate, Bavarian Mousse, Peanut Butter Bombe,
Khalua Creme Anglaise
Beer: Big Sky Ivan The Terrible

Cost ~$65 per person / $120 per couple + gratuity ~6:30 pm – In The Blue Canyon Bison Room ~Call 541-BLUE (2583) To Make Your Reservations Today! Limited Availability

This one is almost full folks, seriously, you should call today and sign up.

Prost,

GG

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The Big Sky Blue Canyon Beer Dinner is fast approaching, sign up now

January 28, 2010 | admin

The Big Sky Blue Canyon beer dinner is half full for registrations, so if you want it, I’d suggest calling in your reservations today. Here’s that menu again:

Menu:

1st Course

Baby Greens Salad, Apple Cider Viniagrete, Dehydrated Apple Chips,
Spiced Pecan Crusted Amalethia Goat Cheese
Beer: Big Sky Powder Hound

2nd Course
Herb Grilled Sea Scallop, Caramelized Shallot Orange Glaze,
Tarragon Foam
Beer: Big Sky Belgian Triple

Intermezzo
Basil, Watermelon Sorbet

3rd Course
Crispy Seared Hutterite Duck Breast, Black Garlic Spaetzle,
Blackberry-Fig Balsamic Glaze
Beer: Big Sky Kriek

4th Course
Braised Smoked Brisket, Crispy Widmer Cheddar Perogi, Port Demi
Beer: Big Sky Robust Porter

5th Course
Milk Chocolate, Bavarian Mousse, Peanut Butter Bombe,
Khalua Creme Anglaise
Beer: Big Sky Ivan The Terrible

Cost ~$65 per person / $120 per couple + gratuity ~6:30 pm – In The Blue Canyon Bison Room ~Call 541-BLUE (2583) To Make Your Reservations Today! Limited Availability

See you there!

Prost,

GG

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Don’t forget to sign up for the Big Sky Blue Canyon Beer Dinner Feb. 5

January 24, 2010 | admin

I’m hearing a lot of chatter about this beer dinner, so don’t forget to sign up for the Big Sky Blue Canyon Beer Dinner on February 5th. Here’s a little enticement for you:

Menu:

1st Course

Baby Greens Salad, Apple Cider Viniagrete, Dehydrated Apple Chips,
Spiced Pecan Crusted Amalethia Goat Cheese
Beer: Big Sky Powder Hound

2nd Course
Herb Grilled Sea Scallop, Caramelized Shallot Orange Glaze,
Tarragon Foam
Beer: Big Sky Belgian Triple

Intermezzo
Basil, Watermelon Sorbet

3rd Course
Crispy Seared Hutterite Duck Breast, Black Garlic Spaetzle,
Blackberry-Fig Balsamic Glaze
Beer: Big Sky Kriek

4th Course
Braised Smoked Brisket, Crispy Widmer Cheddar Perogi, Port Demi
Beer: Big Sky Robust Porter

5th Course
Milk Chocolate, Bavarian Mousse, Peanut Butter Bombe,
Khalua Creme Anglaise
Beer: Big Sky Ivan The Terrible

Cost ~$65 per person / $120 per couple + gratuity ~6:30 pm – In The Blue Canyon Bison Room ~Call 541-BLUE (2583) To Make Your Reservations Today! Limited Availability

See you there!

Prost,

GG

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Big Sky Blue Canyon Beer Dinner is Feb. 5. Sign up today

January 19, 2010 | admin

You really don’t want to miss this opportunity to see how beer and food were meant for each other. Sign up for the Big Sky Blue Canyon beer dinner, find yourself a date and prepare to be amazed by the creations of Chef Larry and brew master Matt Long. Here’s all the info you need.

Looking For Something Unique For Valentines Day? How About A Date To Blue Canyon for the Big Sky/Blue Canyon Beer Dinner! ~$65 per person / $120 per couple + gratuity ~6:30 pm – In The Blue Canyon Bison Room ~Call 541-BLUE (2583) To Make Your Reservations Today! Limited Availability

Menu:

1st Course

Baby Greens Salad, Apple Cider Viniagrete, Dehydrated Apple Chips,
Spiced Pecan Crusted Amalethia Goat Cheese
Beer: Big Sky Powder Hound

2nd Course
Herb Grilled Sea Scallop, Caramelized Shallot Orange Glaze,
Tarragon Foam
Beer: Big Sky Belgian Triple
Intermezzo
Basil, Watermelon Sorbet
Beer: Big Sky Scape Goat
3rd Course
Crispy Seared Hutterite Duck Breast, Black Garlic Spaetzle,
Blackberry-Fig Balsamic Glaze
Beer: Big Sky Kriek

4th Course
Braised Smoked Brisket, Crispy Widmer Cheddar Perogi, Port Demi
Beer: Big Sky Robust Porter

5th Course
Milk Chocolate, Bavarian Mousse, Peanut Butter Bombe,
Khalua Creme Anglaise
Beer: Big Sky Ivan The Terrible

Prost,

GG

No comments.

Mouthwatering menu for this year’s Big Sky Blue Canyon beer dinner on Feb. 5

January 14, 2010 | admin

If you have never been to a Big Sky/Blue Canyon beer dinner, well, you haven’t lived. I’m just saying, there is living, and then there is LIVING. This, my fine friends, is LIVING. For the last two years, Big Sky Brewing Co., head brewer Matt Long and Blue Canyon master chef Larry Coffman have paired the legendary beers of Big Sky with the innovative culinary creations of Blue Canyon’s amazing kitchen.

It all starts with a tasting. Larry and Matt, along with myself and a few other attendees get together to try the beers and make notes on flavors and descriptions. As we discuss each beer, Larry disappears into the kitchen and returns with something inspired by the beer tasting. We review the food and the beer together to decide if indeed it is the perfect match, which it almost always is when Larry is in the kitchen. There is no better way to match beer and food than to simply try it and figure out what works and what doesn’t. As far as beer education goes, this is my favorite activity of the year.

So, to entice you to show up at Blue Canyon on Friday, February 5, I’m posting the menu here now. Call Blue Canyon to register today, because at this price, I think this year’s beer dinner will sell out faster than ever. 406.541-BLUE. Here’s what you’ll be getting.

1st course:

Baby Greens Salad, Apple Cider Vinegar, Deydrated Apple Chips, Spiced Pecan Crusted Amalethia Goat Cheese

Powder Hound

2nd course:

Herb Grilled Sea Scallop, Caramelized Shallot Orange Glaze, Tarragon Foam

Belgium Triple

Intermezzo:  Basil, Watermelon Sorbet

Scape Goat

3rd course:

Crispy Seared Hutterite Duck Breast, Black Garlic Spaetzle, Blackberry-Fig Balsamic Glaze

Kriek

4th course:

Braised Smoked (USDA Certified Prime) Brisket, Crispy Widmer Cheddar Perogie, Port Demi  (braise Brisket in Porter)

Robust Porter

5th course:

Milk Chocolate, Bavarian Mousse, Peanut Butter Bombe, Khalua Crème Anglaise

Ivan the Terrible

Call today and set up your reservations for the Big Sky/Blue Canyon beer dinner. Ask for Larry Coffman or Jennifer Dervic. Cost is $55 per person.

Prost,

GG

2 Comments.

Big Sky Blue Canyon Beer Dinner on tap for February

December 21, 2009 | admin
Salad with dried pear and goat cheese in spiced nut mixture

Salad with dried pear and goat cheese in spiced nut mixture

We first came up with the idea last year. Larry Coffman, executive chef at Blue Canyon and Big Sky head brewer Matt Long and I had been getting together around this time of year to talk about the annual Big Sky/Blue Canyon craft beer dinner. Last year, Larry was open to the suggestion of doing some beer tasting at the restaurant in preparation for the even. What ended up happening is legendary.

As we worked our way through the beers making notes on flavors, bitterness and general food appeal, Larry would disappear into the kitchen and bust out a dish that he thought complimented the beer. We’d all taste and try to go as deep with the food and beer comparisons as possible. Larry eventually tweaked the dishes based on our tasting and served them at the beer dinner a month or so later.

So last Thursday, Larry, Matt and I gathered at Blue Canyon with a bunch of Big Sky beers to try. It was festive and felt like a holiday affair, and Larry was inspired. The dishes he started whipping up around the growlers and bottles of great craft beer were phenomenal and really hit the mark with the tastes and smells we were identifying in the beers.

One dish really caught my attentions. After trying Big Sky’s Powder Hound, a winter ale, we all identified a nutty, almost graham cracker crust taste on the finish. With that, Larry disappeared into the kitchen for 10 minutes or so, while we continued to discuss the beer. Larry returned with a small salad of dried pear, greens and these goat cheese nuggets rolled in spiced nuts. The creamy cheese with the crusted nuts was a phenomenal match with the Powder Hound, evoking a pie crust taste followed by a cleansing round of hops.

We went through half-a-dozen Big Sky beers before Larry nailed down the menu to some exciting seafood options, braised beef and even a duck dish with dried figs and a blackberry sauce to pair with Big Sky’s Kriek. The main menu will be a secret for a little while still, but I’m confident this year’s menu will be the best yet.

So keep your calendars clear for the first weekend in February, and as soon as I get a date for the Big Sky/Blue Canyon beer dinner, I’ll let you know.

Prost,

GG

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Want to go to the Betty’s for Beer Dinner even if you’re not a Betty alum?

November 16, 2009 | admin

Guess what, you can.

Alix just sent out a notice that the Big Sky Brewing Co. holiday beer dinner, this Thursday, will be offered to non-Betty’s, which is great for the rest of you. If that’s not temptation enough, take a look at the menu.

Six Course Small Plate Beer Dinner

Course One: Sausage Stuffed Crimini Mushrooms

Paired with Scape Goat Pale Ale

Course Two: Autumn Salad

Paired with Trout Slayer Ale

Course Three: Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Paired with Extra Special Bitter

Course Four: Roast Turkey Breast with Apple, Onion and Sage

Served with Stuffing and Glazed Carrots

Paired with Moose Drool Brown Ale

Course Five: Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin with Cherry Sauce

Served with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Mashed Potatoes

Paired with Powder Hound Winter Ale

Course Six: Moose Drool Ginger Bread Cake

Paired with Ivan the Terrible Imperial Stout

The Betty’s for Beer Dinner is open to any women interested in learning about food and beer pairings. The Dinner takes place at Big Sky Brewing Company on Thursday November 19 from 6-8PM. The 6-course meal will be catered by What’s for Dinner Missoula and paired with Big Sky Brews. The cost is $45 and in addition to the great food and beer, each person will receive a recipe book of all the courses (see below). A vegetarian option is also available, please inquire if you are interested in the alternatives.
Stop by Big Sky Brewing Company or call 549-2777 ext. 120 or email alix@bigskybrew.com to sign up, space is limited to 15 people.

Prost,

GG

1 Comment.

Are you a Betty’s for Beer Alumnus? This tasting is for you

November 4, 2009 | admin

betty's for beerCalling all you Betty’s for Beer grads. Big Sky Brewing Co. is putting together a sweet beer dinner and holiday class for you. The prerequisite is that you have to have completed an original Betty’s for Beer class, and I know there are a lot of you now. Call or E-mail Alix in the taproom to reserve your place.

Trust me, this beer dinner will raise your beer game another dozen notches or so, plus, you’ll get to meet all the other Beer Betty’s out there.

November 19: Betty’s for Beer Dinner/Holiday Class for Alumnae. If you have already taken the first series, sign up for this great 6-course small plate beer dinner! Email alix@bigskybrew.com or call the Taproom at (406)549-2777 ext. 120. The cost is $40 and is from 6-8PM.

Can’t wait to catch up with all you ladies soon.

Prost,

GG

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