Spooky Brews

Happy (very belated) Halloween everyone! I hope you didn’t suffer from a zombie infestation like we had at my house.

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All the neighbourhood riff raff were hanging around.

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Seemed like all they wanted were treats, not tricks.

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Which I had no problem sharing, because I had these festive treats to taste myself.

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Pumpkin beers galore!

Know I know what you are thinking – since when do I drink beer? Well, I don’t really. Kinda. The boyfriend may be slowly expanding my palate in the world of craft brews. I still find it hard to drink more than a whole glass (beer is filling!), but I like doing tastings. Especially when they taste a little like pumpkin pie!

In fact, I even suggested we go to a Pumpkin Beer Dinner at Darby’s Pub the night before Halloween. October is Craft Brew Month in BC, and I happened to see a tweet mentioning said event – a 3 course seasonal, local meal paired with 4 local craft brews, plus another pint all for $35. You didn’t have to tell us twice.

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It started with a deliciously thick and creamy butternut squash soup, topped with a cardamom crème frâiche,and roasted pumpkin seeds, paired with Phillips Brewing Co. Crooked Tooth Pumpkin Ale. The soup was rich, and I loved the way the cardamom crème frâiche added that little extra something to the dish. I had tried this beer before, and enjoyed the spices in this beer – enough to make it taste like pie, but not overly sweet.

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While we waited for our main course, our next beer came out – Lighthouse Pumpkin Ale. This one was lighter, with a definite ginger finish. It wasn’t my favourite, but it wasn’t offensive either.

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Dinner was a Fraser Valley pork chop, rosti potatoes, and a mushroom garlic cream sauce. Not exactly the prettiest dish to photograph, but damn it was good. I’m pretty sure you can serve up any protein with a mushroom cream sauce and I’ll devour it. Loved the rosti potatoes as well – crispy on the outside, soft inside.

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Then it was time for dessert – Pumpkin Porter Cheesecake with caramel porter sauce, and vanilla whipped cream. Yeah, it was pretty amazing. The porter kept it from tasting sickly sweet, and the cheesecake was perfectly creamy and rich without being too heavy. I pretty much licked the plate clean. It was paired with another pumpkin beer I had already sampled – Parallel 49 Schadenfreude Pumpkin Oktoberfest. Hands down my favourite, and not just because it has an awesome label. It is a definite dessert beer – a little caramelly, perfectly spiced. Yum!

Sadly, as the dinner started late, we didn’t have time to stick around and try the final beer, but it was one we had tasted before, and it wasn’t a favourite, so it was okay. And aside from the fact the whole meal was varying shades of orange/brown/amber (a pop of green somewhere would have gone a long way), I was impressed with the quality of the dishes, and that the portions were just right so that you left satisfied but not stuffed.

Too bad pumpkin beer season is over – I will be looking forward to next year.

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Categories: BC, Dessert, Dinner, Hallowe'en, Local, Pub, Restaurants

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