Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

April 17, 2014 at 3:07pm

The Swiss' inaugural beer dinner sets a high bar

Georgetown Brewing Company took over the taps at The Swiss Restaurant and Pub Wednesday, April 16. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

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Toward the beginning of last night's Georgetown Brewing Company beer dinner at The Swiss Restaurant and Pub, Manny Chao, Georgetown's co-owner and brewmaster, explained why it was an honor that his company be the first brewery Swiss owner Jack McQuade invited to dinner. The two go way back.

Chao met McQuade some 20 years ago when he was the first employee at Mac and Jack's. With Chao's help, Mac and Jack's amber ale became the third best selling craft brew in the state. Five years later Chao left Mac and Jack's and by 2002, he and his housemate, Roger Bialous, homebrewed their first beer - Manny's Pale Ale. In 2003, Chao was back in front of McQuade, this time selling his Manny's Pale Ale, from his new Georgetown Brewing Company located in Seattle's Georgetown district.

That introduction set an appropriate tone for what was to come at The Swiss' inaugural beer dinner. Chao and his sales rep, Garrett Miller, knowledgeably guided about 25 diners through Chef Scott Cleese's four masterfully prepared courses, excellently paired with Georgetown's selection of beers.

As noted, it was McQuade's first hosted beer dinner. The smile never left his face. He was proud to have his friend Manny in the house, proud of Cleese's dishes and proud that the inaugural crowd was a joyous group, chatty and truly interested in the education and tastes. Inaugural also means a chance to learn. The beer pours were enormous. By the seventh beer, I was speaking in gibberish. McQuade, who debuted new dishware and glassware for the event, could have easily poured half the amount and still called it a success.

Before the food arrived, Georgetown passed out full glasses of Roger's Pilsner, with Yakima-grown Czech-style Sterling hops, just to get the ball rolling.

For the first course, Chef Cleese created a cheddar potato ale soup, incorporating Manny's Pale Ale into the mixture. Cleese's goal was to hold as much sweetness from ale as he could, which he pulled off.

For the salad course, the kitchen marinated red onions over in Georgetown's Superchopp Red Ale, then added them to their steak salad with malted certified angus ball tip sirloin, bleu cheese crumbles, cherry tomatoes and a balsamic dressing. This was paired with the Superchopp, a derivative of Chopper's Red Ale, which was named after the brewery's third owner and operations manager, Brett Chopp. The Superchopp is hopbursted, which means the bitter hop and the aroma hop are both added at the end of the process.

My favorite pairing was the third course, monkfish lightly floured and seared on a grill with orange butter sauce served over a pan seared potato patty with braised season greens. Tasty. The citrus flavors of the Lucille IPA paired well. Georgetown's IPA master, Reid Spencer, named the beer after the car wash scene in Cool Hand Luke.

And for dessert: a housemade chocolate brownie with vanilla bean ice cream; Lisa's Chocolate Stout was the brew paired with this one, and a special sweet reduction of the stout was used in the dessert.


The night ended with, yes, more beer: a delicious 11.4 percent, fruity Kiss Ass Blaster Triple IPA, which was low on the bitterness for a giant IPA.

If you missed this dinner and are aching to go to one now, don't fret. According to McQuade, The Swiss will have pairing dinners regularly. In the meantime, here are a few awesome people I met last night.


The Swiss Restaurant and Pub turns 21

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