Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wines & Spirits Club Philippines/Treffpunkt German Beer Dinner.

Dinner Tuesday night, 23 June 2009, was at Café Ysabel for a W&SCP dinner event sponsored by German beer, sausages and cold cuts producer/distributor, Treffpunkt; Raymond Meynet, the current owner (having taken over sometime in 1996), being a member of the club. This was my first organized beer-pairing dinner.

My wife and I arrived just a few minutes past 7:30. Aside from the evening's hosts and the usual suspects, my brother, T, and his wife, C, were already there enjoying huge platters of Salami and Fleische Kaese...

...and the initial salvo of 3 German beers.

EKU Pilsen, Kapuziner Weiss Beer

Mönchshof Black Beer

Raymond, Nico P, J-Lab and Gene with T in the background.

The Clavanos, Nelson and Karla, among others.

T and C had already taken a table for 6, so we naturally joined them thereat and started tasting the "cocktail beers" with the salami and cheese. Our table pretty much favored the rounder, fruitier Kapuziner Weiss Beer over the drier, crisper EKU Pilsen with the appetizers. I'd imagine I would prefer the EKU Pilsen after a long, hot round of golf.

I didn't try the Mönchschof Black Beer until Marty encouraged me to, recommending that I let it warm slightly before enjoying it. I followed his advice, and, with its rich, mouth-filling dark chocolate flavor, it turned out to be one of my favorite beers of the night. I, then and there, decided to buy some for my teenage sons to try; I'm sure they'd enjoy this. Fortunately, Raymond assured me that though it is not found with his other beers in supermarkets and large groceries, it may be purchased directly from Treffpunkt.

Gene then made his opening statements, welcomed T and C to their first WSCP attendance and gave us a brief background on Treffpunkt and its products. Dinner proper began immediately thereafter with a Crème of Onion and Smoked Ham Dumpling Soup. I've loved these thick, rustic German soups ever since Tito Hans (Mrs. Doc's late father/my wife's uncle) introduced me to them many years ago. This was no different - hearty, savory, comforting, plus a nicely smoky and juicy dumpling one can sink his teeth into.

Liked this a lot, perfect for a rainy night. This was paired with...

Warsteiner Premium Verum, which happens to be a beer we keep in stock at home. Just under medium in body, mildly creamy, nicely clean, with a light malt sweetness towards the back of the mouth. Very easy to drink. My teenagers like this a lot, and I can understand why.

Next was a simple, refreshing Green Salad which I made short work of knowing that this would likely be the healthiest course of the night. The following dishes were served together, family style and in most generous amounts, much more than we could possibly finish.

Assorted Sausages, Pig's Knuckle and Ham


These were served with additional platters of Baked Spatzle, Home Fried Potatoes and a loaf of dark Rye Bread.

Earlier in the evening, I noticed Aaron and Jo taking a booth for themselves and I kidded them about being anti-social. Pointing to J-Lab and Nico's longer table for 6, I encouraged them to join the former, but they opted to stay where they were. Probably just wanted to enjoy each other's company I thought, and why not?

Later on, though, I figured they just wanted to have those huge platters to themselves without having to compete with a hungry mob.

I also noted that J-Lab and Nico probably had the same thing on their minds....

It was good to see Gene actually eating. It seems to me he is always bustling about and, save for that evening, I don't recall ever seeing him sit down and actually take sustenance.

The sponsors oversaw the event from their table. I must note that the young Meynet did his parents proud - a young gentleman politely and efficiently helping with the evening, distributing the give-away bottle-openers and pens.

I enjoyed this hearty meal with two different beers.

Erdinger Weiss Beer, lightly fruity but nicely dry, I tasted hints of banana and citrus with a very slight, appetizing yeasty bitterness at the end. The finish was not long but quite clean. Very easy to drink.

Erdinger Dark Beer, fuller in body, it had a general malty, roasted nuttiness to it with a slight undertone of caramel and whispers of clove. Very enjoyable.

Before dessert was served, Gene re-took the mike to reintroduce the evening's sponsor...

...who said a few words about his products and thanked everyone for attending, though it was us who should have been thanking him for the evening.

Dessert was a Spiced Apple cream Palat Schinken with Custard and Home-Made Chocolate Ice Cream on the Side.

My brother and I couldn't help but try the dessert, especially the delicious home-made chocolate ice cream, with yet another glass each of the Mönchshof Black Beer which Gene expertly coaxed out of the now reluctant keg. The beer's rich dark chocolate ran hand in glove with the ice cream. Chocolate beer and chocolate ice cream - it may sound strange, but, what can I say? Beer newbie and probably Philistine that I am, I enjoyed the hell out of them together.

The evening ended not long thereafter with cups of then much needed sobering coffee for the long drive home. I had a fun time: a hearty meal, several good beers, spent time with my family and friends and learned some new things to boot. How much better could a rainy Tuesday evening be?


Miguel said... I know why you woke up so late the next day...after a dinner like this, who wouldnt??

Noel said...

No kidding, buddy. I was shocked when I saw the clock upon waking up. Panic city - because I might get ubusan of Kokotxas and txakoli. Heh heheh.

Miguel said...

hahaha....You must have driven like a maniac...haha

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