This week’s Beer Nut article

Sierra Grille beer and food event set for Saturday

Published: Monday, September 12, 2011, 8:34 AM By George


It’s hard to watch a grown man (almost) cry.

But that’s (almost) what I witnessed during the last beer-food pairing event at The Sierra Grille in Northampton two months ago.

The event featured to only keg in existence of a special Stone Brewing one-off, Stone Espresso Nut Brown Stout. Sierra Grille owner O’Brian Tomalin and his staff put together a great menu of food items that would go with this unique release. But for many of us, the main draw was the beer. (Although the two food items I had were amazing.)

So when Stone Eastern Regional Sales Manager Mike Saklad—who helped O’Brian secure this rare keg—rumbled in at around 7 p.m., he was excited, to say the least. Because I was finished eating, I gave him my bar seat, as the place was packed. We chatted as he savored his first pint of the brew and he told me planned on sitting there for a while, sampling more of the food items and, course, more of the beer.

So, when the beer kicked as they were pouring only his second pint, the normally gregarious and talkative big guy went silent and ashen. While he didn’t actually weep, I’m sure he was crying on the inside. The beer had moved at a clip at 20 pints an hour and anyone arriving after 7:15 p.m. was out of luck. Poor Mike basically got a pint and a half.

Although the upcoming beer event at Sierra Grille features two more limited Stone releases (as well as two brews from Tröeg’s Brewing in Penn.) none of the kegs are the only ones in existence, as was the case with the Espresso Nut Brown Stout. So with any luck, this time Mike will be able to enjoy all the brews and food leisurely.

Which brings us to the story I actually came to tell today: The Stone-Tröeg’s beer event at The Sierra Grille on Sept. 17. This beer-food pairing event is not a formal sit-down beer dinner, but rather a night of special beers paired with food items created with them on the eatery’s specials menu.

The beers featured will be Stone 15th Anniversary Ale, a black IPA, a Stone-Tröeg’s collaboration, Cherry Chocolate Stout, and two from Tröeg’s: Flying Mouflan and Scratch #45.

Menu items include a root vegetable bisque made with Scratch #45, a duck skewer made with stout, a pork pate with Flying Mouflan, lamb shank made with 15th Anniversary Ale, and a cherry turnover in a stout chocolate sauce.

Taps start flowing at 3 p.m. with food service beginning at 5 p.m. If you get there early, save a bar stool for Mike. He’s a great guy and after the "tragedy" of two months ago, he deserves a front row seat.


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