Harvest Beer Dinner

If you want a superb beer dinner, look no further than Rico’s American Grill in Phoenix. I’ve been to a few different dinner pairings at Rico’s, and none of them have disappointed. It might have something to do with Executive Chef Kenneth Arneson’s locally-sourced food – including fruits and vegetables from the restaurant’s own garden, as well as the people involved with each of the dinners who work so hard to make them a success. Whatever the magic combination is, they have it down, and the Beer for Brains Foundation knows it. Back in August, BFBF participated in a Drink Local beer dinner with Rico’s that included four area breweries and an exceptional menu tailored to fit with the brews each brewery provided. Everyone raved about the pairings and the friendly atmosphere, and last week’s dinner was refreshingly consistent in execution and flavor, though this time, only one brewery was involved: SanTan Brewing Company.

Click through the gallery to see all of the delicious food that made up the menu as well as the wonderful staff that made it all possible.  While the Seared jumbo sea scallop with HefeWeizen Wheat was my favorite pairing – never mind the fact that wheats (let alone hefe’s) aren’t necessarily my favorite brews – here’s a complete list of what was made available for our taste buds:

Reception – Creole Chicken Ravioli | Rico’s Garden Braised Mustard Greens | Slivered Chilies

   – Blue Point Oyster Shooters | Jalepeño Water | Horseradish Granite

   – Grilled Romaine Antipasta Skewers | Aged Sherry | Local Paloma Honey | Paired with Winter Warmer

First Course – House Pulled Mozzarella Gratin | Braised Fennel | Cilantro Dust | Poached Singh Farm Egg | Paired with Epicenter Amber

Second Course – Seared Jumb0 Sea Scallops | Sweet Onion Caramel | Crispy Potato Tuiles | Shaved Candied Beets | Paired with HefeWeizen Wheat

Intermezzo –  Lemon Amber Granite | Mint Toasted Black Pepper | Paired with SunSpot Gold

Third Course – Beer Braised Short Rib | Tempe Mill Polenta | Shaved Black Truffle | Roasted Onion Jus | Paired with Devil’s Ale

Dessert – Harvest Pumpkin Mousse | Chantilly Cream | Red Chili Caramel | Brown Sugar Soil | Paired with 12 Daze

Once again, many thanks to Rico’s and SanTan for teaming up with Beer for Brains to bring an exceptional dinner to life.  I can’t wait to see what else comes out of these local collaborations, especially when they go towards a good cause!  As this was the last event for Beer for Brains in 2011, I’d say it was quite the event to end with and a nice way to simmer down after all the excitement of RAREaffair last month.  Be sure to look for news on the second annual Epicuriad coming early next year, it’s going to be an excellent beginning to 2012!

*For more information on upcoming and past BFBF events, visit the Beer for Brains website.

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