The Great American Beer Fest
Last week, The Great American Beer Fest was the place to be. Anyone who’s part of the Chicago restaurant or beverage industry was pumped on the trip, or insanely jealous of those making it. Longman & Eagle Executive Chef and Partner Jared Wentworth was lucky enough to be there. Check out his first- hand account below:
“Every year, the city of Denver hosts the Great American Beer Festival. This event welcomes a mind-boggling amount of craft brewers making some of the best beers in the country…and in the world. Every person walking through this event comes in with the expectation of finding something amazing they have never tried.
I had the opportunity to be paired with the talented Jared Rouben, brewmaster and founder of Moody Tongue brewery. We were representing our neighborhood, Pilsen (where my restaurant, Dusek’s, calls home), as well as our love for pairing beer and food. In my humble opinion Jared makes some of the most interesting beers I have ever tasted. From his white truffle pilsner to a Belgian brewed with the Midwestern fruit Paw Paw, he brings a chef’s mentality and palette to all the beers he crafts.
Our pairings were a lemon saison and a blackberry infused ale. I went with a crudo of bay scallop, lemon gelle, and green tea tapioca to go with the saison. It highlighted the bright lemon flavors of the beer and added some sweet, creamy notes to play against the acidity of this remarkable saison. On the second pairing I went with a Moroccan spiced pork sparerib. I sous-vide the sparerib and paired with collard greens, grits, and pickled blackberry. This was a natural pairing that worked wonderfully with the clean flavors of Jared’s beer and his sense of balance in the beers.
Denver was a blast. We were shown all the love in the world from wonderful breweries, great restaurants, patient hotel workers, and tater tot street vendors. If you love beer you should make the pilgrimage next year. It’s a great time in an amazing city. Stay mile high.”