Wine Time (You Can’t Live By Beer Alone)

by Renee on April 13, 2016

winesIt’s true, I’m a cross drinker. I like my wine as much as my beer. I think that’s due in part because of my Italian heritage. (I’m half Italian on my mother’s side…to match up to the Irish McAuliffe genes from my dad). So I was excited to be invited to an Oregon wine dinner at Cleveland’s Pier W restaurant, which sits on a cliff overlooking Lake Erie in Lakewood. The views are spectacular, and the sunset on this particular evening did not disappoint.

Dinner kicked off with a velvety Oregon truffle custard, roasted beets, kumquats, trumpet mushrooms, and a crispy beet paper; served with a 2013 Chehalem INOX, a very well-balanced Chardonnay from the Willamette Valley. This was a varied and interesting way to begin the meal, and though I’m not a big fan of whites, I enjoyed this pairing. course

The second course was my favorite–Wild Sable, a buttery and delicious light fish; served with lemongrass, a tempura matchstick salad–topped with a salty local feta cheese–the perfect contrast. The wine was a Domaine Serene Evanstad Reserve Pinot Noir, also from the Willamette Valley.

I have a confession to make about the third course. It was a housemade Buffalo Bratwurst, with Napa cabbage sauerkraut served over a salsify gratin. And I’m sorry, Cleveland, but I am not a bratwurst girl. However, I loved the wine, a Syrah, Penner Ash, 2013.

dessertDessert was pretty darned amazing, though. A light and fluffy vanilla cheesecake filled with lemon curd–two of my very favorite tastes together, with toasted meringue, blueberry coulis, and a crème Anglaise. This was accompanied by a wine that was almost an ice wine, a sweet and complimentary Elkcove Ultima Late Harvest Riesling, 2010.

Guests enjoyed the food as well as a stunning view of Cleveland across the water. Several people told me they loved the Pier W happy hour and brunch, as well. If you haven’t been back to this Northcoast favorite for a few years, I IMG_4480highly recommend it.

(And to be clear, my meal was comped, and I was invited to blog about the event to promote the restaurant, however, as always, views are my own.)

Now, just so you know you’re still reading the Brewer’s Daughter’s blog, here’s a link to a very fun video of a song about beer, by the Asylum Street Spankers: Cheers!


A Beery Weekend in the CLE

by Renee on March 7, 2016

I drank a lot of beer this weekend. It was the 10th Annual Winter Warmer Fest in Cleveland on Saturday, held by thebeer Ohio Craft Brewers Association–always a great event. I missed a lot of festivals and beer events in 2015, and it was fun being back to it. I confess I didn’t keep track of what I drank other than a few check-ins on Untappd, but it just did my heart good to see so many people come out on a snowy March Saturday to drink good beer and have a good time. I brought my BFF, Cami, along; and while she’s not a big beer drinker, she did find a few beers she enjoyed as well. Cheers to event organizers and all the breweries who participated and brought nearly 200 craft beers for tasting to the masses. Over 1,400 people attended at Windows on the River in the Flats.

The next day was nearly as beery for me, as I rode along on the Cleveland Brew Bus, touring three local breweries: Nano Brew, Fat Heads and The Brew Kettle.  I was familiar with and had been to these breweries before, but lead by tour bus operator/owner Leslie Basalla-McCaffertybus, author of a book on Cleveland beer history, I still learned a lot, and enjoyed all the tasting, too. I’m excited to note here that I will be joining the Brew Bus team as a tour leader in the coming months. I look forward to sharing my love of craft beer with others from near and far who are interested in what Jack started back in 1976 at New Albion Brewing. Leslie and her husband Brian bought the business a year ago, and already have had to add a second bus, and expand the schedule because of demand. There are several different tours you can take–and even if you think you know Cleveland beer, I invite you to ride along, and bring a few friends! You won’t be disappointed, and may find there were a few things about Ohio craft beer you didn’t know. Gathering a little beer knowledge and tasting a lot of brews isn’t a bad way to spend a weekend. The best time of the year is coming as spring approaches–hope to see you on the bus and in the breweries!



Ohio Craft Brewers Conference 2016

by Renee on February 5, 2016

ohio-craft-brewers-new1Groundhog Day not only promised an early spring in 2016, but an avalanche of great brew to come in Ohio. Held over the course of three days, the Ohio Craft Brewers Conference, put on by the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, was held at the Dayton Convention Center Feb. 2-4. Only the second annual gathering, attendance doubled over last year–with reps from the state’s 160-plus breweries making the trek to the Gem City.

Tuesday afternoon the brewers and others in the industry met for their quarterly meeting at Carillon Brewing Company, where beer is brewed the way it was done in the 1850s–no easy feat! That evening, conference-goers were treated to several brew bus tours of many of Dayton’s 14 breweries. I had the chance to enjoy the beers of Yellow Springs Brewing and the Hairless Hare Brewery.

The highlight for most was the keynote address by Jim Koch of Boston Beer on Wednesday morning–many don’t realize that Samuel Adams beers are primarily brewed in Cincinnati, and the company is the largest member of the OCBA. Koch grew up in Ohio before heading Northeast to Boston, and he reminisced fondly of his years here. A sixth generation brewer, his Buckeye roots run deep–Koch told the gathered crowd he has a cousin named Scarlett Ann Grey.

For me personally, the highlight wasn’t Jim’s talk–when he made a personal call for craft brewers to stick Jim Paultogether against the Big Guys–the ones you’ll see advertising during this weekend’s SuperBowl–but afterward, when I had the chance to introduce him to Paul Benner, one of the founders of Platform Beer Company. Since Jim is the one who re-introduced my father, Jack McAuliffe, and New Albion Ale to the craft beer world back in 2013, it thrilled me to put him together with Paul, who is brewing the Original Craft Beer today. They talked about Jack’s amazing contributions to the craft beer world, and how things have changed since those early days in Sonoma, CA in the 70s.

Paul shared his reverence for the beer with Jim, and told him about Jack’s reaction when the Father of Craft Beer visited the brewery in 2014 for its debut to a Cleveland crowd: Jack had said the new New Albion really hits the mark. Jim was pleased to hear it–and thanked Paul for shepherding the historical ale to new audiences.

NABCoSo, it doesn’t really get much better than that on a sunny winter Wednesday in Ohio. Look for the next batch of New Albion Ale to come very soon from the fledgling Gypsy Brewing Company–an offshoot of Platform. Plans for this year include larger quantities of New Albion at your favorite Ohio restaurants and bars, possible packaging, and better swag. Maybe we’ll even brew one of Jack’s other original New Albion beers. Cheers to exciting brew news!



New Year, New Chapter, A Few New Brews

January 15, 2016

So 2016 is off to a pretty good start, as new years go. I made the decision to celebrate the holiday away from old memories and to make some new ones in San Diego–to get away from cold Ohio temperatures, in a new environment with old friends. I had been wanting to get to Southern […]

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