We here at Super Beer Brothers obviously love beer. But there is something else we love too. Well, yes, our significant others, but that’s not what we are talking about here. We. Love. Bacon. What doesn’t it make better? Exactly, nothing. So when Capital Hop Shop announced they were hosting a Bacon & Beer dinner during Sac Bacon Fest, we had to go.
Capital Hop Shop, a taproom and restaurant from Ken Hotchkiss and crew from Capitol Beer & Tap Room, immediately became one of the best taprooms in town upon opening last September. With 40 taps featuring great beers from Sacramento and beyond, Capital Hop Shop consistently has one of the best beer line ups in the Sacramento region. Anyone who was familiar with Cap-Tap isn’t surprised by this. The biggest question mark for the new venture was the food.
Roughly six months into operation, throwing a five course dinner was a bold move.
Now, I am no food critic and I won’t pretend to be one here. Hell I don’t pretend to be a beer critic either. But I was thoroughly impressed by what Capital Hop Shop was able to accomplish on this night. Each beer was introduced by one of the brewers from each brewery involved. Hearing how Flatland Brewing took their experience in France and lead to its inspiration of Right Bank Bordeaux as you drank it was awesome. Hearing why the beers were selected as part of the pairing was great. This was more than a meal, it was an experience that was well worth the $65 price tag.
Flatland Brewing’s Right Bank Bordeaux was a standout. Brewed with coffee and berries, this sour was nothing short of fantastic. If you are familiar with sun-dried Ethiopian coffee’s, that’s what this sour is to me. And as you drank it with the salad Hop Shop paired with it, the sour began to shine through. I haven’t had much from Flatland yet, but after trying this, I will be enjoying more of their beers soon.
Claimstake Brewing Company’s Pay Dirt Red Ale was a refreshing paired with the seafood chowder. A smooth beer with a nice flavor from the rye and malt, it didn’t overpower the more delicate flavors of the soup.
We have featured New Glory a few times here on SBB and for good reason. They make great beer. The brain child of blending two of their IPA’s, Galatic Worms was an adventure. A strong aroma of grapefruit with a juicy and fruity taste, Galatic Worms was perfectly pair with a pork belly taco. As you ate the taco, the beer truly took on that fruity gummy worm flavor. This was probably my favorite pairing of the night.
Every big dinner needs a palate cleanser and Device Brewing’s In The Afterglow Munich Helles Lager was the perfect one. Crisp, cool and refreshing, with the aroma of a golden sunlight, In The Afterglow was able to cut through the richness of the previous pork belly taco and prepare you for the main course. In a five course meal, it was great to have this easy drinking, non-filling beer.
Fresh off their opening weekend, Moksa Brewing, brought their Caffe Moksa, an oatmeal milk stout on nitro. Rich notes of cacao nibs and coffee come through strong in this dark beer. Paired with the main course of bacon wrapped pork loin, Caffe Moksa was able to stand up to the dish without overtaking it. The sweetness played off the savory dish well which made a very enjoyable main course.
And then there is dessert. From the highly anticipated Urban Roots, in collaboration with Bottle Logic, Pallet Treasure Imperial Stout just reinforced the dessert the kitchen made. A chocolate and peanut butter stout that packs a heavy punch makes an excellent dessert beer. Add in peanut butter chocolate parfait with candied bacon and things can’t get any better. I will say this was my favorite dish of the night, it was absolutely delicious and the only complaint is that I couldn’t have more. The beer added to the dessert and had just enough of a booziness to help cut through the sweetness of everything.
This was more than a dinner. Capital Hop Shop hosted a bacon and beer experience that I can only hope they will do again next year. The food was fantastic. The beer was great. The pairings were well thought out. Having the chef and the brewers explain their thoughts behind the beers and the pairings was amazing. Congratulations to the Hop Shop team on a successful event. We will be back soon!