A Well Executed Beer Dinner at Tacos & Beer

Last month Tacos & Beer, one of my favorite local beer-centric restaurants, partnered with one of my favorite breweries, Mother Earth Brew Co., to host a beer dinner. Tacos & Beer Owner/Chef John Simmons prefaced each of the six courses with comments on the dish and Mother Earth LV Rep Mike Gaddy provided specs on each beer. We began with Cali Creamin’ Vanilla Cream Ale, matched with yellow coconut-curry mahi-mahi w/pineapple and smoked red pepper purée, of which John said the curry was complemented by the tropical fruit sweetness and acidity. BooKoo Mosaic IPA, which Mike related is the brewery’s most popular year-round beer, paired with ceviche of shrimp with tangerine, which John marinated in the IPA and included actual citrus with a bit of jalapeno. Por Que No Imperial Brown Ale, an 8% ABV limited release of a beer style Mike informed is rarely done and which he described as having a nut presence similar to Nutella, was matched with “Croque Madame” gruyere-gratineed ham sandwich on brioche with brown mustard, onion jam and quail egg. John said, “We wanted to make the best ham sandwich in the world,” and I think he may have succeeded. Four Seasons of Mother Earth: Summer 2016-Red Wine Barrel Aged Golden Strong Ale, was proclaimed by Mike as the longest beer title ever, and is not super tart, with more yeast characteristics than anything. It was paired with glazed pork belly with caramelized parsnips that John said contained a citrus-soy-reduction. Four Seasons of Mother Earth: Winter 2016-Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout with Coffee Mike declared is his favorite beer ever produced by Mother Earth, and is a very coffee-forward beer. It was matched with coffee and chile rubbed lamb chop with squash purée. John related he used mustard to coat the lamb so the coffee would adhere to it and a blackberry gastrique to round it out. The finale was the 8.1% ABV SinTax Imperial Stout with Peanut Butter, which Mike reported is now available in cans and features a dark chocolate bitterness, and was paired with peanut butter and bacon brownie with raspberry purée and vanilla chantilly cream. John commented he threw in some bacon to add a salty, smoky note.

It was quite evident that John and Mike collaborated closely to choose beers and food that would work well with each other and both are to be commended for the excellent quality of their product. Hopefully there are many more beer dinners to come at Tacos & Beer and as someone who has attended quite a few beer pairing events I can attest that this one was executed extremely well by all of the staff involved in preparing and serving with no snags or delays.

Southern Nevada Beer Events

Now that the temps are rising outdoor beer festivals will give us a chance to enjoy nice weather while sipping great beer, with a beer festival happening nearly every week.

The Nevada Craft Brewers Association NCBA is hosting the 2nd Annual Brews N ‘Ques Beer Festival on March 4 from 2-6 p.m. VIP entry at 1 at the Henderson Events Plaza at 200 S Water St. in downtown Henderson. Admission will get you unlimited pours from more than 20 Nevada breweries, including special release beers and collaboration beers brewed by members of the NCBA. In addition, there will be several local BBQ vendors, vegetarian options, a cornhole tournament and a DJ. For more info and to purchase tickets visit BrewsNQues.com.

The Brew’s Best Beer Festival is moving to a new location, hosting its fundraiser for New Vista for the first time at The Lawn at Downtown Summerlin on March 18 from 2-6 p.m. VIP early entry at 1. It claims to be the longest running open-air beer festival in the area, having started in June of 2007, and will be the first beer, wine, or spirit tasting ever held at Downtown Summerlin. For more info and to purchase tickets visit brewsbestlv.com. The proceeds go to a great cause, as New Vista provides assisted-living and group-home programs for the intellectually challenged.

On March 25 from 3-7 p.m. VIP entry at 1 the 5th Annual Boulder City Beerfest will be held at Wilbur Square Park in the heart of the historic city, just two blocks from Boulder Dam Brewing. The only beerfest currently held in Boulder City, it will have 30 brewery tents pouring close to 100 beers, live music, food for purchase from eight food trucks, “beer centric” specialty vendors and homebrewing demonstrations. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit bouldercitybeerfest.com.

The seventh annual Great Vegas Festival of Beer will return to the streets of Downtown Las Vegas and expand to two days, April 7 and 8. Nevada’s largest craft beer festival in terms of amount of beers poured, the festival will offer tastings of more than 500 craft beers from 110 breweries. New this year is the addition of a Friday night event, the Mad Craft Experience, limited to 1,500 attendees from 7-10 p.m., which will feature samples of craft beer paired with culinary creations from some of the top establishments in the local culinary scene including Michael Mina’s Pub 1842, Dan Krohmer’s Other Mama and John Simmons’ Tacos and Beer. The next day, The Great Vegas Grand Tasting will be held from 3-7 p.m. with early entry at 2 p.m. For more info and to purchase tickets visit greatvegasbeer.com.

As always, great beer happens in Vegas!