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THE BEER DINNER'S fifth course of pan-roasted lamb chops with eggplant, fennel, oven-dried tomato and basil Yukon smashed potatoes was paired with a Russian Imperial Stout. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum


Suds entice the taste buds

By From page B2 | July 25, 2014

The Lodge at Cordova Casino boasts “home of the 99 beers” but with beer pairing events and brew-inspired specials they bring much more to the table for the craft beer enthusiast.

July brought burger and brew combos to The Lodge with novel takes on burgers and a suggested beer accompaniment through each week of the month.

One burger that you would have to taste to believe possible — and hopefully won’t just be a menu cameo — is the peanut butter Sriracha burger.

Senior food and beverage manager Neil Glass, who bravely conceived and added the PBSB burger to the July burger and brew combos menu, said it has been popular with diners and one of the best-selling menu items.

The PBSB is a beef patty served with peanut butter, Sriracha aioli, lettuce, fried onions, pepper jack cheese and paired with Dogfish Head Brewery’s 90 Minute IPA.

This burger was served July 17-24. It is being followed by a barbecue chicken burger with Lagunitas Sucks from July 25-31 as part of the burger and brew combos menu.


More than burgers

In other beer-themed happenings, on July 18 The Lodge hosted Deschutes Brewery for a beer dinner of five courses. Deschutes Brewery’s Northern California sales specialist Casey Carhart teamed up with The Lodge chef Paul Kelly to match the Oregon brews with a menu. The result was a dinner of not five, but six courses paired with six beers.

“Craft beer has become more of an art. When you get into the flavor of beer it can be as complex or more complex than wine,” Kelly said while speedily prepping for the dinner in the ranks of The Lodge kitchen


Food and brews

The first course greeted attendees with a crispy chicken wing dipped in a honey garlic sauce. Garlicky with bright sweetness, this brought out the fruit aromas of a Belgian ale made in collaboration with Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Company and Deschutes.

“This beer is tart and dry. It cuts through the garlic spiciness and the sweetness of honey,” Kelly explained.

A second course of a brie empanada over apple-ginger-chutney was served with an aromatic hoppy Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA.

Next was a frisée salad topped with a poached egg and lardons. The Chainbreaker White IPA with hints of coriander was a lighter beer in hops and malts. This made for a near-perfect salad beer.
Course four brought the beer dinner crowd a mighty Mirror Mirror oak-aged barley wine, to match the muscle behind the braised Korean pork ribs. The ribs, set in a skillet around polenta tots, topped with a wild mushroom ragu and a cherry molasses glaze complimented the dark fruity character of the barley wine.
Pairing another big beer in course five had pan-roasted lamb chops with eggplant fennel purée, oven-dried tomato and roasted potatoes to stand against a Russian Imperial Stout.
The beer is aptly named The Abyss for its “immeasurable depth and complexity” as described on the Deschutes Brewery Website. The Abyss’ molasses and licorice character left just enough room for the lamb’s earthy flavors to breathe.
The dinner concluded with a dessert of chocolate pot de crème and Deschutes 25th Anniversary Black Butte Imperial Porter. Black Butte, Deschutes’ flagship beer, gets special treatment for the brewery’s birthday release with the addition of dates, figs, chocolate and aged in bourbon casks.
Chef Kelly attended the Great Lakes Culinary Institute, worked as a sous chef at Wickenburg Country Club in Arizona and had his own restaurant in Michigan — Kelly’s Restaurant.

The Lodge, 2801 Prospect Park Drive in Rancho Cordova, is planning another beer dinner with Auburn Alehouse in October.

For more information on events at The Lodge visit or call 916-293-7480.

Krysten Kellum

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