When I first heard about Lamb Jam - happening at the Charles Hotel on March 7th - I knew immediately that I had to go, and that Adam and our friends Peter and Andy had to go as well. We all love lamb and we all love beer - so it was the perfect event for us.
Lamb Jam, hosted by American Lamb Board & BostonChefs.com , was touted as "this ultimate lamb taste off" and featured local chefs and their creative preparations of delicious lamb dishes, paired with the offerings of award winning local breweries and wine from Middleton Family Wines."
The featured breweries were Berkshire Brewing Company, Blue Hills Brewery, Ipswich Ale, Paper City Brewery, Mayflower Brewing Company, Rapscallion, Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project, Watch City Brewery, Harpoon and Cape Ann Brewing. An awesome selection, as you can see. We sampled everything and there were a few standouts for us:
Pretty Thing's Baby Tree Quadruple
Baby Tree is a Belgian-inspired year-round quadrupel brewed with dried plums. Now you know me, I love a fruit beer so I was eager to try this out. The beer did not meet our expectations - but in a GOOD way. I expected it to be really fruity and it was not. Adam expected it to be heavy and it wasn't that either. It had a subtle plum tone, and was super drinkeable. Also, the label is just plain cute.
We also hit the Watch City Brewery table HARD
....and not just because it happens to be one of our favorite restaurants/brewpubs but because it served what in my opinion was the best beer of the day! "Corkubita's Gordgeous Troika"is a dark red Belgian tripel made with three kinds of squash (Blue Hubbard, Butternut and Buttercup) which is aged for five weeks and then spiced with summer savory and herbs de Provence. It sounds more like a side dish than a beer but it is incredible. And went impeccably with all of the lamb dishes we got to try. I definitely pointed everyone I met in that direction and went back 3-4 times myself.. If you live in the area I cannot recommend enough checking out Watch City Brewery enough. Order the Troika and you won't be disappointed!!
Also, if you go ask them to bring back their Bacon Beer which I am SO MAD I didn't know about when it was being offered at their pub. Dang!
Other memorable brews included Blue Hills Brewery's Munich Lager which was a little sweet, a lot malty and minimally hopped - all qualities I enjoy. Another fan favorite was Paper City Brewing's Imperial Hop Monster. Says Adam: "The description on the Paper City website describes this beer as an "Imperial IPA with an unreasonable amount of Hops." This is definitely a true statement. I had asked the guy pouring the beer what the IBU content was, and he said that while it originally had an IBU reading somewhere around 100 it was lowered to mid to high 80s. It was certainly bitter, but was still easy to drink (this coming from a hop head).
I will always have a special place in my heart for Paper City, because theirs was the first beer I ever really liked, the peachy lager known as One Eared Monkey. Sigh. Memories.
In addition to all of the lovely beer there was also an abundance of, as the name of the event suggests, lovely lamb dishes to sample and savor!
It was loads of fun trying so many new dishes accompanied by so many great beer. The fan favorite among us was definitely the lamb sliders, pictured above, known as the "Royale with Cheese", offered by the Chef Toby Hill from Pain D'avignon ( I sense a road trip to Hyannis in the near future!) We met a lot of great people (shout out to our awesome tablemate Carolyn! who has much better photos of all the food than I) including one Mr. Billy Costa, the emcee of the event.
We were all sent home with great goodie bags that included a meat thermomete, lamb jerky, I Love Lamb chapstick, and a delicious spice rub.
All in all, it was a fantastic event and we had loads of fun. I give big kudos to the planners for limiting ticket sales so it wasn't like other tastings we have attended, where you have to wait in line for ten minutes and have no room to do anything. There were the perfect amount of people there and the food and drink were to die for. The event was such a success, word is it will be a yearly event going forward. So be sure and become a Fan of Lamb so you can get all the details on the next party!
Please click here to see the rest of our photos from Lamb Jam 2010!