Beer dinners are a delightful mixture of my two favorite things. Beer and food. I guess it technically doesn’t have to be a dinner. I would go for a beer lunch or a beer breakfast (someone do this please?), but anytime I’m going to be drinking beer and eating food I know I’m going to have a good time. So, I was obviously very excited to check out Firefly’s 100 Mile Supper Series with 3 Stars Brewing because the only thing I love more than beer and food together is free beer and food together.
Alright, that was not the only reason I was excited. The 100 Mile Supper Series is actually a really cool concept. The idea is that everything on your plate (and in your glass) comes from within a 100 miles of the restaurant. I can get down with that.
So even though I had eaten way too much Chinese food for lunch (I am a very healthy person), I was still ready to eat and drink everything in sight, because I’m a gross human being. At least, I was excited until I saw the menu, and then I looked at the menu. There were two saison’s on the list. I hate saisons. I think they’re gross and weird and terrible. Sometimes people assume that that’s because they’re too sour for me, and that, my friends is a bold faced lie. I have an adventurous tongue. I love beers that are so sour they taste like someone dumped half a bottle of vinegar into a beer. I love beers that are over the top boozy and smoky or weird, but I can’t stand saisons. It’s like drinking liquified food and I’m not about that. I have teeth. I would prefer to chew my food.
I was disappointed to say the least, but at least the food looked good. We started out with olde salt rappahannock oysters that were covered with red onion, green apple mignonette, and 3 Stars Citra Lemon saison. Before I even had a chance to drink the saison, I was going to have to eat it. I love oysters too much to have a funky beer stop me from eating them, and honestly, I was pleasantly surprised. The combination of green apple mignonette, red onion, and Citra Lemon made the oysters taste very bright and citrus forward. In fact, the saltiness that usually takes over while eating oysters was more of an afterthought. I have never had oysters prepared this way in my life, but they were actually really refreshing and delicious. When I finally built up the courage to try the Citra Lemon saison straight up, I have to say, I was impressed with that as well. It was more like a light, lemon-y wheat beer. It was no where near as funky as the other saisons I’ve tried. It was a perfect pairing with the oysters, which had a very bold and brash flavor.
Even though by some strange twist of fate I had ended up enjoying the first saison, I was still relieved when the second course was an heirloom tomato salad paired with the Ghost White IPA. I love IPA’s a lot. I like them crazy hoppy and I like light sessions. I will happily drink any IPA. Yet, weirdly enough, it ended up being my least favorite beer of the night. I can barely even remember what it tastes like, that’s how little I thought of it. I totally understand that the Ghost White is supposed to be a very light, sessionable IPA, but it had very little flavor to me, and it definitely couldn’t compete with the delicious heirloom tomato salad it was paired with. For real though. That salad. The heirloom tomatoes were actually bursting with flavor. The cherry tomatoes, which were grown on the roof, are probably the sweetest cherry tomatoes I’ve ever had, and there was fried goat cheese. This is a salad I can get behind, it was just unfortunate that it blew the beer away.
Of course, then there was another saison to compete with, this time, it was the Peppercorn saison that was to be paired with a Roseda Farms New York strip steak. That actually sounded appealing. After my first saison victory, I was ready to try something a little weirder and it worked out. This definitely seemed like it had a little more of the traditional “farmhouse” saison flavor (I still don’t understand how “farmhouse” is supposed to be a good thing. I don’t want to drink a farmhouse), but the peppercorn covered that up and made it very drinkable.
Looking at the meal as a whole, the steak was actually the most disappointing course. I’m kind of a weirdo about my steaks, though. I will go to a steakhouse once a year, have a killer steak and that’s good enough for me. In most cases think it’s a pretty boring meal. I guess the idea is to let the cut of meat speak for itself, but I just think that’s boring. The best part of this course was the asparagus, and they weren’t even that great. I was cool with it though, because I was too busy sucking down my Peppercorn saison, which became more delicious as the night went on (that could have just been the alcohol though).
For dessert, there was a crispy peach hand pie with a rich apricot bourbon glaze, vanilla bean ice cream and peach streusel. I have to be honest here, I fucking killed the dessert course. I murdered it in cold blood and loved every single moment. I don’t even like peaches and I scarfed this down as if I hadn’t had food in years. Everything about it was amazing, although I was sold as soon as I saw the bourbon apricot glaze. I may not like drinking bourbon (rye forever) but I love it in a dessert sauce and I love beer aged in its casks. Speaking of beer, this was paired with the Southern Belle, which is an imperial brown ale and it was delicious. Like the first course, both food and beer were in perfect harmony and I could not get enough of it.