Belgian Beer Brunch at Front Range BBQ

Sunday mornings just got a lot more interesting when Brian Fortinberry, owner of Front Range BBQ, decided to have beer brunches on select dates. We're helping plan a beer, bacon, breakfast on Dec. 09 and we can confirm that beer for breakfast is great. So, I had the pleasure of attending the most recent brunch, a Belgian beer themed brunch consisting of 5 entrees paired with one or two Belgians beers.

The welcome beer was a beermosa, a mixture of fresh orange juice mixed with Blanche De Bruxelles, a Belgian wit. This is quite a citrousy tart treat that I recommend to anyone who hasn't had a beermosa before. A 50-50 mixture works well.

Friends from Minnesota were at hand to meet the locals and experience the hospitality of Front Range BBQ.

The first entree was a sweet potato waffle topped with cream stout marshmallow and fresh orange marmalade. This belgian delicacy was paired with two beers, Petrus Aged Pale Ale and New Belgium's seasonal Biere De Garde. I thought the Biere De Garde, a light fruity Belgian ale with orange peel paired best with the marmalade on the waffle, but the Petrus was a better beer by itself. It was a nice tart acidic sour aged two years in oak casks.

The 2nd course was a fancy meat and cheese plate. There were three kinds of sausage including spiced pork, hatch green chili chicken, and sage-cranberry pork. There were also two goat cheeses, Cajun blue and bacon horseradish. This was paired with two beers, Saison duPont, a classic style of saison, and McChouffe, a Scottish ale with Belgian yeast. There were so many flavors and aromas from each of the meats and cheeses that picking a better beer pairing was near impossible. The table was split on this choice. I think it was a tie.

Course three was a Belgian braised beef topped with organic root vegetable puree of mostly squash and a strong ale mornay sauce. This was a very heavy rich dish that was most people's favorite dish of the morning. It was paired wonderfully with Nostradamus strong dark ale which is a high alcohol Belgian brown ale. The dried fruits and sweet character paired wonderful with the dish.

The 4th course was a harvest duck wellington with cranberry reduction and shoestring frites surrounded by a delicate pastry puff. This was quite a fun course full of flavor and equally as rich as the previous course in flavor. This was paired with Monk's cafe Flemish Sour Ale. The beer has a lot of fruity cider notes that's a great introduction beer to the wonderful world of sours. It highlighted the cranberries very well.

The final course was many people's favorite, smoked serrano chili ice cream topped with cinnamon beer caramel and pumpkin toffee paired with Timmermans pumpkin lambic. Wow, what a finale! The ice cream was wonderful. Just a touch of chilis made this ice cream very special. The lambic was very complex. It started out as a tart cider and finished like a pumpkin ale. Many people commented that they wish this dessert could be on the menu permanently. I agree!

Overall, this was one of my favorite beer and food pairings I have attended. The staff and chef at Front Range BBQ did a wonderful job to bring this all together. A special shout out to Bryan Ludwig, rep for C R Goodman, who also helped bring this brunch together and explained the beer pairings with each course.
If you missed this event, the next beer brunch is coming soon! There will be a Beer Bacon Brunch on Sunday, December 9th, from 10-1 pm. This is one of our sponsored events. It will follow the Focus on the Beer 2nd Anniversary Party at Trinity Brewing on Saturday, December 8th. Make it a beer weekend and show up for both! - - -

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BeerEric Steen