A Belgian Kind of Night at the Blue Star

Last week, The Blue Star hosted a Belgian inspired beer dinner pairing delicious food courses with Belgian style beers from Funkwerks in Fort Collins and Colorado Springs' own Bristol Brewing Company.

The first course was a classic Belgian dish of mussels and frites. The mussels lay in a beautiful broth with apple tarragon compound butter and caramelized shallots all paired with the delicious Funkwerks Saison. If you haven't had a chance to try this saison, go out and buy it now. It is the perfect example of what a classic Saison should taste like, and we have it given it our own accolades Amazing spice and citrus character that has a nice dry finish.

The second course was a french salad with an Asian twist. A crab and avocado salad lay on a bed of pilaf with a banana kewpie mayo and crispy snap peas. This was paired with Funkwerks Tropic King, a stronger fruitier version of their classic saison. This was the third beer they bottled and was originally a mistake beer that was served in their taphouse, but due to its huge success, they added it to the regular lineup.  The sweetness of the beer paired wonderfully with the banana ketchup-like mayo.

The third course was the last of the Funkwerks beers. A perfectly seared scallop sat upon a spiced pumpkin bread with maple pumpkin butter and a ginger bread piece of bacon topped the scallop. The entree was paired with Funkwerks Deceit, a Begian hybrid beer that doesn't quite fit a category perfectly but sits somewhere between a Golden Strong and a Tripel. This beer did win a GABF medal for Golden Strong this year. This beer is a sleeper, incredibly smooth and has a nice hop character but it is right around 9% ABV which will quickly catch up to you if you decide to finish a 750 ml bottle by yourself. The sweet and delicate nature of the scallop paired was a lovely match for this beer.

Brad Lincoln, co-owner of Funkwerks, was at hand to discuss his brewery, talk about the beers, and answer any questions.

The final two courses paired Bristols two recently released Belgian beers, their Dubbel and Tripel. The Dubbel was paired with fried crispy chicken wings with apricot duck sauce on a bed of fried rice. The dubel was maltier than the rest of the beers at the dinner and had notes of raisins and dark fruits that played nicely with the apricot duck sauce. It had a nice dry finish and was a good changeup from the other beers.

The final course (pictured above) was a beer brined beef with apple kraut, triple mustard, and garlic confit whipped potato. This was paired with Bristol Tripel which was used to brine the beef. This beer had some great Belgian fruity esters and noticeable hop character that finished semi-dry. Although the beer seemed light and fruity, it is also a big beer at 8.5% ABV.

Mike Bristol was at hand to discuss his beers and also discussed the Ivywild building project.

A special thanks goes to Andrew Sherrill, head chef at Blue Star, for putting on another fantastic beer dinner.  He is a culinary wizard!

Stay tuned for upcoming beer dinners at the Blue Star.  They have a couple in the works. They are a wonderful way to explore some exciting styles of craft beer paired with some of the best dishes in Colorado Springs!
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BeerEric Steen