Steamworks and Brassneck Breweries Brewmasters Collaboration Beer Dinner
The Steamworks Brewpub has been a defining factor in the molding of BC Craft Beer into what it is today. Started back in 1995 Steamworks made the brilliant move of hiring Conrad Gmoser as their brewer’s assistant. Shortly after this point the original brewmaster left and Conrad rose to the occasion. After 18 years together Conrad recently left Steamworks to start his own bc craft beer project – the one and only Brassneck Brewery.
With Conrad’s departure Steamworks looked internationally to fill these massive shoes left behind. Moving to Canada for the position from UK but originally from Australia Caolan Vaughan is off to a running start. With a first brew of the recently released Steamworks Imperial Red Ale expectations are even higher moving forward.
With Brassneck now brewing at full speed and Steamworks’ new production facility off the ground in a rare event the two partnered together making a collaboration beer for the ages. Conrad and Caolan put their heads together to make the Firewalker Smokey Porter. Better yet Steamworks Brewpub rounded up a group of craft beer lovers and made an event of it. In the form of a Brewmasters Collaboration Beer Pairing Dinner the latest creations of both Steamworks’ Caolan Vaughn and Brassneck’s Conrad Gmoser were paired with the recipes of chef Cory Chapman for a fantastic 4-course dinner.
After arriving at the downtown Vancouver brewpub and enjoying a preliminary pint the first course for the evening was served in the form of a Sea Bass Crudo along side the Copper Roof ESB. This Sea Bass appetizer was topped with a chili spice, citrus kick and yam with pickled kumquat to bring it all together. Along side the malt forward ESB which was cask conditioned this was a great start to the meal. Refreshing and light this small start was merely a tease of the quality in beer and food still to come.
Second on the menu was the collaboration Firewalker Smokey Porter served with Chipotle Barbacoa Tacos. Here the light smoke in the beer countered the sweetness found in the beef cheeks bole and poblano salsa. Fantastic flavour within the tacos was balanced with the earthy tones in the Firewalker. This was one pairing that will not be topped for a long time. The two were remarkable on their own but together became fantastic!
Third on the list for the evening was Caolan’s first recipe with Steamworks, the Imperial Red Ale. This was served with Wild Boar Belly along side ancient grains, blood orange gastrique, pink pepper and turnip. The slow roasted boar simply evaporated on the tongue. This paired with the heavier weight of the Red Ale and a high IBU the two also worked together to become greater than the sum of their parts. A new favourite Steamworks beer paired with a heavenly portion of Wild Boar Belly.
Finally came dessert. Last on the menu was S’More Pie along side a Rye Stout. The desert was rich and dense with a light marshmallow top. This paired with a great stout plus the addition of Rye made for a balanced and sweet finish to the evening.
Beer is a complex thing and when paired properly with food it can take your senses to new levels. Through the artful creations and pairings between Conrad, Caolan and Cory – Steamworks created four unique beers and four unique dishes which came together to make something truly special. This dinner was a nostalgic look into the past and a delicious look into the future of what is to come from these two talented brewers and what can be accomplished through the tastefully pairing craft beer with quality dishes.