Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mayflower Brewing Dinner at 5 Napkin Burger

Tuesday night Sarah and I headed into downtown Boston for another installment of the 5 Napkin Burger beer dinners. The brewing company last night was our friends at Mayflower Brewing Co. out of Plymouth, MA, and they brought along some of their outstanding beers for a pairing with an interesting menu of food.

We arrived a bit early and made our way to the bar. What set the tone for the night was seeing Christina, one of the area sales reps for Mayflower, as soon as we got to the bar. We have worked with Christina on a few different beer events, and it is always great to see her. One of the newest sales reps Marissa was also there too, which was cool too as we had met over the summer and got a chance to catch up on the past few months. Our buddy Ryan from Mayflower also showed up just before the dinner started to round out the list of familiar faces.

Sarah, Christina, and Marissa
The food and beer pairings were really nice. Appetizers featured Tuna Tataki Wontons, Grilled Chicken Skewers, fresh guacamole, and Cheddar Tots, which were paired with Mayflower IPA - which is one of the finest New England IPAs you're going to find. It was a little surprising to have the IPA the first beer due to its bold and hoppy flavors, but it paired nicely with the passed apps.

Another great part of the evening was that founder and president Drew Brousseau, the 10th great grandson of a beer barrel cooper on the Mayflower, was there to discuss the beers, their origins, flavor profiles, and so forth. You could see the passion he has for these beers very easily. He also coined the phrase of the night while describing the Pilgrim's journey to America - "Party Like a Pilgrim!" which was touted for the rest of the evening...perhaps you had to be there?

Founder & President Drew Brousseau

The next course was a small bowl of mussels steamed in ale, with garlic crostini, paired with the Golden Ale. The subtle malt flavor of the Mayflower Golden Ale didn't overpower the delicateness of the mussels and broth.

The main course was a choice between a caprese burger (mozzarella, panchetta, roasted tomatoes, arugula, pesto mayo) or the Veggie Burger, with a side of french fries. The caprese burger was cooked to order, and the fries were nice and crisp. The last beer dinner we went to at 5 Napkin Burger featured sweet potato fries as well, which would have been a nice option as well. However, the fries were nice and crisp and quite flavorful.

The burgers were paired with Mayflower's Fall Seasonal Autumn Wheat. This is Mayflower's take on a dunkelweizen, which was really nice. It had a nice dark hue and was a soft and slightly sweet, medium bodied brew. The wheat used in the brewing process really helps make this a very drinkable beer, and it serves as the perfect alternative to the mass of pumpkin and spice beers currently being offered as seasonal beers.

The final portion of the meal was a vanilla sabayon & shaved chocolate, paired with the Mayflower Porter. Honestly, I didn't read the menu closely enough, as I thought it was ice cream. To my surprise, it was more of a creamy desert, which the Porter paired with spectacularly. The Porter is Sarah's top choice for beers by Mayflower, and it's hard to disagree with her. The dark, roasted, toasted notes in the Porter really meld well when it followed a bite of the sabayon.

Overall, the evening was a good time. It was nice to catch up with Ryan and Christina, and hang out with Drew, Sarah, and Marissa. It wouldn't surprise me if 5 Napkin Burger holds more of these beer dinners as they seem to be pretty successful. It also gives the breweries to interact with their customers (or potential new customers) in an intimate setting, as well as fans of the breweries to learn more about the beer they love!

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