Warning: I am not a foodie! I’m a beer drinker. I always prefer to sit at the bar before asking for a table. I welcome anyone wanting to chat about the beer they’re enjoying and I soak up any knowledge people are willing to share. I tend to not go to events if it means I’ll need to put on something other than jeans.

This last Friday I went to a beer dinner at the Melting Pot. When I think of the Melting Pot, I envision forcing myself to put thought in to my attire for an intimate Valentine’s Day, ordering a fancy bottle of wine that I might struggle to appreciate (sorry, not a wine-o!), and trying to eat dripping morsels of food in a somewhat dignified manner.
The Melting Pot I saw at the beer dinner was completely different than what I imagined.
Banana Foster Flambé
The dinner was four well-thought-out courses and a dessert, each paired with a beer from Great Storm.  This is common for most beer dinners. However, a few things really stood out.
Devyn from Great Storm, introduced all of the beers. Steve, owner of the Melting Pot who also designed the courses and pairings, was there to introduce all of the food. They both did a great job walking around, knowledgeably answering questions, engaging the guests, giving out brewery schwag, and a favorite of many – offering refills.
The environment was very conducive to people talking. One guest said, “All of our tables share similarities so the conversation keeps going while we keep finding common ground.” The biggest common ground: beer. “We don’t do wine, we do beer,” said a couple that has been coming to the Melting Pot’s beer dinners regularly.  I’m not sure if it was the larger tables or the fact that you were dueling with complete strangers for dipping rights, but everyone really seemed to “melt” into more conversation than I’d seen before at any other beer dinner.
The beers and food went so well together. Something different you get out of the fondue pairings is the creativity that comes with the variety, as opposed to just one dish paired with each beer. Each course was an exploration trying the different food dipped in all of the sauces. One guest told me, “I really enjoy seeing how the different food changes the taste of the beer.” Each person was able to explore comparisons and contrasts with the four Great Storm beers. The second course was made up of a traditional Swiss Fondue and Mardi Gras Cheddar Fondue, each mixed with Great Storm’s Seven Wolves IPA. This was my personal favorite. Having the savory cheese next to the bitter of this blended hop IPA really highlighted each other’s characteristics and was a great example of the efforts put in to the pairings. Who can say no to beer and cheese?
Lettuce Wraps with Great Storm’s Lightning Wit
The star of the show was most definitely the dessert. When the banana foster was set on fire, or flambé as I’m told it’s called, everyone was aflame. It helped finish off the night with a sense of excitement.
Lesson of the evening: fun beer events can be found in otherwise traditionally non-beer places. The Melting Pot really impressed me with a beer drinker friendly event. How can you enjoy one of these affairs? Check out their upcoming events on their local Melting Pot site, or join their Club Fondu mailing list. They’re expecting to host the next beer dinner in August and I definitely recommend it.


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Categories: Beer