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Drink Features

Celebrate the Brew

Drink and Jive/Beer Dinner
Front Street Brewery’s Beam Room
9 N. Front St.
April 11th, 6:30 p.m.
910-251-1935 • etix.com
$39 • www.NCBeerMonth.com

NEW FSB BREW: Don’t miss out on the oyster stout, a new brew from Front Street Brewery and Charlotte’s Noda Brewing Company, featuring a salty, dark flavor. Courtesy photo

NEW FSB BREW: Don’t miss out on the oyster stout, a new brew from Front Street Brewery and Charlotte’s Noda Brewing Company, featuring a salty, dark flavor. Courtesy photo

Only the brewmasters of all brewmasters would recognize names like “Parking Violation,” “Effinguud,” “Haulin’ Oats Stout,” “Hoptimus Prime” and “Smooth Hoperator.” There is no better time to celebrate such brews, and a few NC specialties like The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, Natty Greene’s Brewing Co. and Thirsty Monk Pub and Brewery, than in April, which is designated NC Beer Month.

Craft breweries have taken over our newly fermented state. North Carolina has over 50 breweries and brew-pubs, not to mention a slew of medals from the World Beer Cup and the Great American Beer Festival. April will support and harbor craft breweries from around the state, more specifically from Charlotte to our very own downtown streets. The Front Street Brewery has collaborated with NoDa Brewing Company, located on North Davidson Street in Charlotte (www.NoDabrewing.com), to bring us new flavors for the new season.

The two breweries developed an oyster stout—a salty, dark beer—after FSB brewmaster Kevin Kozak reached out to NoDa. They agreed to partner and used Eagle Island Fruit and Seafood oysters to help in the process, as Kozak delivered the oysters to Charlotte for NoDa to finalize the product. Kozak will be delivering them back to Front Street Brewery’s taps to serve to our local beer connoisseurs.

The process consisted of shucking the oysters and removing the meat, before thoroughly cleaning the shells through a high-pressured water system. Then, the oyster shells were dropped into the mash-sparging, which trickles water through the grain to extract sugars. “After the liquid is placed into the kettle to boil (a two-hour process), the oyster meat is placed into a bag and the bag is dropped down into the kettle for the last 15 minutes of the boiling process,” FSB Marketing Manager Ellie Craig explains. “This gives off some of the notes and flavors from the oysters. The roasted/toasted flavor from the malt and the oyster shell flavor create this dark, briny beer.”

On April 11th, FSB will be pairing the oyster stout, among others, during their beer dinner. A five-course meal will be served featuring locally grown food paired with FSB and NoDa beers, and accompanied by local music.

The first course will include a North Carolina oyster shooter: raw chilled oysters topped with an FSB/NoDa Oyster Stout mignonette and fresh-grated horseradish, paired with Mutha Shucka Oyster Stout. The second course will come as a North Carolina cold plate: NC pork loin prosciutto, IPA citrus-cured NC trout, homemade gerkins and pickled eggs, paired with Ahtanum Amber Single Hop Ale. The third course will feature Smoked NC suckling pig, served with spicy NC stone-ground cheese grits and Scottish ale and cider vinegar barbeque sauce, paired with Low Country Biere de Garde. The fourth course will showcase North Carolina blue crab-stuffed flounder, topped with country ham and Sinful Stout red-eye gravy, served over NC-grown collard greens and paired with Condor Pilsner. The final course will consist of dessert; a North Carolina sweet-potato pie made with pecans and candied bacon.

Wilmington’s own Mac and Juice will be performing during dinner. Juice, who Craig calls “a beer aficionado” and regular in the restaurant, will play music with partner Mac. “They’ve got a really interesting sound,” Craig adds. “It’s very North Carolina, classic rock-meets-jazz and blues.”

Front Street Brewery will continue celebrating throughout the month of April, too, with various specials. The first week will feature their 64-ounce growlers on sale for $7.99. Also on sale will be the restaurant’s staple flagship beers for $5.

Craig tells, “This is an exciting thing for us; the first year of NC Beer Month. Ultimately the goal was spearheaded by the NC Division of Tourism and NC Brewers Guild (www.ncbeer.org) and this is an important part of our state now, showcasing all things NC. By using all NC products, we are really showing the pride we take in the state and everything we’ve accomplished on a local and regional level.”

Margo Metzger, public relations manager of the NC Division of Tourism, adds, “With 75 breweries and counting across the state, this critical mass has made craft beer a hot topic worthy of a month-long celebration. Our state is already becoming known as a culinary destination, and promoting craft beer alongside our great restaurants and wineries will help enhance that positive reputation.”

Tickets for the beer dinner are $39 and available at etix.com. Visit FrontStreetBrewery.com for more information. Also, Front Street Brewery offers a free brewery tour (tastings included) every day from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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