I think it’s pretty clear I love beer. I am on a self-imposed 5-week no drinking period. I am trying to get in shape for the summer and I figure this would be a good challenge to go with along with clean eating and doing some new to me exercises. I am almost 2 weeks into the challenge and really miss my beer! My sister, Jodi, was lucky enough to attend a Beer & Dessert class in Fargo and graciously recapped it (very eloquently!) for me to share with you. To celebrate my 5-weeks of no beer (or any alcohol), my sister and I have a trip planned to a few breweries. I cannot wait. I love tasting beers with her!! These type of events are definitely what I miss most about living in a bigger city. This would have been right up my alley! (Insert tear drop.) Take it away Jodi and thank you! (I have made only minor changes from her original text for clarity.)
I have been meaning to recap my experience at beer and dessert school. It was a lot of fun. The guy presenting the beers is who runs the FMBeer.com website. He was laid back and let us have fun and be silly so that was good. The event was held at Square One Kitchens, 1407 1st Ave N in Fargo from 6:30-8pm. The following is a snippet as the event was advertised:
Dessert and Beer? Yup, beers can pair fanatically with desserts and what better way to learn about it than sampling some tasty desserts along with a great beer chosen to go with each one. ‘Beer for Dessert’ is the next Beer School class where you will learn how beers can pair with desserts like chocolate, cake, cheesecake, ice cream and more to make that end of the meal treat even tastier.
Love in the Oven Bakery will be providing some of their delicious baked goods that you won’t want to miss.
Beer School: Beer for Dessert was held on April 15th at Square One Kitchen and Event Center.
- Registration starts at 6:00pm, Pairings at 6:30pm
- Tickets are $35
- Must be 21+
- Pre-Registration is required
The tables were set up 4 to a table with 4 little glasses in front of each person. Each table also had a basket of either pretzels or popcorn so you could cleanse your palate and a bowl with beer flavored Jelly Beans – yup beer flavor, not root beer!
The class was pretty small. We had our table for 4 and there were 9 other people I believe and one showed up after we were half way done. They also gave us some cute name tags to wear, but pretty much only Jen and I wore them 🙂
They did a place-mat that showed what beers you would have with what desserts. Our first pairing was Coachgun IPA from Junkyard Brewing (7.1% ABV) in Moorhead with Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. They served the beer out of a growler that Junkyard donated and they would be giving away at the end of class. The carrot cake was yummy but not as good as moms. I am not usually an IPA fan but if took a drink of the beer and then a bite of the cheesecake it did change the taste of the beer and it was quite enjoyable.
Next pairing was Lindemans Framboise (2.5% ABV) with a piece of Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate. The beer is what is called a Lambic and is sometimes referred to as the Champagne of Beers. It had to be uncorked and was tart, sour and bubbly. This one was a raspberry flavored so it paired nice with the chocolate, but I guess they have other flavors as well. The Lambic was good but you couldn’t drink a lot of it since it was so tart.
Third pairing was Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue 9.0% ABV) with a piece of Dark Chocolate covered Caramel with Sea Salt. Normally I don’t like dark chocolate and didn’t eat the Ghiradelli one but thought I would try this one since it had caramel. I also never had sea salt on my chocolate. I must say this one was so so so good, however the beer was my least favorite. I didn’t take a lot of notes on this one so can’t remember why I didn’t like it, lol.
Last pairing of the first round was Moo Joos Milk Stout (5.8% ABV) with Vanilla Ice cream. They served the ice cream in a little glass and recommended putting the beer in a separate glass and try them apart before combining them into a float. The beer itself was a pretty potent stout. I never thought in my life would I say I had a beer float, but I did and it was AMAZING!!! This dark flavorful stout paired so well with the vanilla ice cream.
We had a little break at this point while they prepared the 2nd round of desserts. We had water and snacked on pretzels and popcorn during the break. We needed something to kill the sweet taste and we were most definitely enjoying our first, potent sips from the dark beers. Needless to say our table was by far the loudest in the room.
We started off the next round with Chimay Tripel (White 8.0% ABV) paired with Lemon Mini Cupcakes. I love lemon desserts usually and these were super good, but a tad dry. They had a little dollop of cream cheese frosting. This beer was delicious. It was light color but had a strong flavor and it was bubbly or effervescent I guess. It did pair well with the lemon, but was delicious on its own.
Next up was Sodbuster Porter from Fargo Brewing (6.1% ABV) paired with a fudgy brownie. I had the Sodbuster before and while I normally don’t like Porters I don’t mind this one. While it is flavorful it is not over powering like some porters can be. Naturally with the dark, coffee, chocolate tones of the porter it paired great with the brownie. It was delicious and I gobbled it down pretty fast! They also served the porter in a growler that Fargo Brewing donated and promised to give that one away after class as well.
Next up was Kasteel Rouge (8.0% ABV) with cheesecake. This beer was cherry flavored. It was another cork one and was very sweet. As the cheesecake was plain it was like the beer was the sauce for the cheesecake so it did pair extremely well. This is another beer you couldn’t drink much of, but naturally us girls thought it would be great to mix as a shot with Cherry McGillicuddy or even mix with Liquid Ice like a Chuck Norris.
Our last dessert was just a beer. It was called Dragon’s Milk (10.0% ABV). It is made from old bourbon barrels so it does have a booze like taste/quality. The girls didn’t like this one. I drank most of everyone’s sample, lol. Since it does come from Bourbon Barrels it is suggested to drink at room temperature versus serving cold. Not sure how else to explain it, but it certainly didn’t taste like beer.
At the end the guy chatted about other events they are thinking of hosting. He also mentioned that Fargo will soon be getting a Meadery. I wasn’t really familiar with what this is, but guess Mead is a honey wine. It isn’t finalized but sounds like it will be in the Flying J area in south Fargo. It is called Prairie Rose Meadery – prairieerosemeadery.com so that will be cool to check out when it happens. Now class was over so he said he would give away the growlers. I wanted one from the beginning because I didn’t have one and all the girls already had one. In fact, I think I was the only one in the room who didn’t have one.
He picked a number between one a twenty and then went around to everyone to pick a number and the closes two would win the growlers. Well we were in the back of the room so by the time he got to us most of the numbers I would have been picked were already taken. Best part was Alayna (her friend) yells out 32 and I bust a gut I am like it is between one and twenty, lol. She was like, I was wondering why everyone picked so low? She is so goofy. Anywho, Kate (another friend) picked 2 and I picked 5. The correct number was 3 so Kate got to pick her growler first and she picked Fargo Brewing. I then got the Junkyard one for being the next closest!!
That is the end of Jodi’s recap. I think it was wonderful! Thanks again, Jo! I can’t wait to drink beers with you and get our growlers filled many times. Love you! What an awesome event put on in Fargo!!