If there’s one thing I love more than drinking beer, it’s cooking with beer. So you can imagine how excited I was to be invited to the Goose Island Girls’ Night Out event for their Migration Week in Charleston! The event was held at Charleston Cooks! in Charleston and featured an “interactive cooking demonstration complete with Goose Island beer pairings.” Uh, yes please!
You had me at “Cheers!”
Lily and I arrived at Charleston Cooks! and were super pumped to meet all of the reps from Goose Island, as well as Jesse Valenciana, one of the cofounders & authors of the cookbook “ManBQue.” I wish he would’ve had his cookbook there so I could’ve bought an autographed copy or two. I know some “mans” who would definitely like this book. Although not as cool as a cookbook, we did get these beautiful branded beer glasses, which we sampled their vintage ales out of.
I’m a fancy beer drinker now!
After everyone settled in, we learned that we’d be preparing a number of different recipes, each featuring one of the awesome Goose Island beers we were also going to be tasting that night. Lily and I volunteered to be in charge of the “Breakfast Beer Cheese,” which featured honey, manchego cheese, mustard, and Goose Island’s Matilda ale.
Beer + cheese = Happiness
We served it with fresh sliced baguette, and it was absolutely delicious.
The main course of the evening was a “Aged Cheddar and Apple Stuffed chicken Breasts Braise in 312 Lager.”
Apple and cheddar is one of those flavors that shouldn’t taste good together, but is actually quite yummy.
The chicken was pounded out super thin, stuffed with caramelized, chopped apple and shredded cheddar cheese, and then rolled up and braised in Goose Island’s 312 lager. Charleston Cooks! provided these cool rubber things that we used to roll up the chicken, and I was really tempted to buy some after the class.
But I make enough of a mess as it is just using toothpicks.
The chicken was absolutely delicious, and this is definitely a recipe I’d make again.
Mmmm, so good.
The two boys in the class were in charge of the “Beer Batter Onion Rings with Sriracha Ketchup,” which were done tempura-style and were totally delish. I’m obsessed with sriracha ketchup. It might just be my next go-to condiment. I would have been super intimidated to use the fryer (even though I’ve used one before), so I’m glad the guys volunteered to handle it. And what a great job they did!
Those bubbles do not look warm and inviting, but scary and full of regret.
The other side dish for the evening was the “Lemon Ale Risotto with Thyme and Asparagus,” which was made with the Goose Island Sofie ale, and featured arborio rice, fresh lemon zest, and parmesan cheese.
I’ll eat pretty much anything with lemon zest on it.
It was absolutely divine. I kind of wish we’d helped with this one because I’ve never made a risotto before, but Lily didn’t really want to try and sharpen our knife skills (get it?) in front of all of these strangers.
Although in retrospect, it doesn’t actually seem that intense.
Everything came together wonderfully, and even though each of the dishes had its own distinct flavor profile, they all complemented each other really well. I left feeling very satisfied indeed.
If not craving slightly more vegetables.
For dessert, we tried the decadent “Bourbon County Stout Tart with Oreo Cookie Crust.” I’ll let that sink in with you for a second. Yep.
Few ingredients, but full of flavor.
It was damn good. I’m glad they only had enough for each of us to only eat 1, because I definitely could’ve devoured an entire tray.
The stout alone was sweet enough to be considered dessert.
We also got to taste all of the beers separately. Although I’m no beer connoisseur, I really liked all 4 of the beers (Sofie, Matilda, 312, and Honker’s Ale) that we sampled at the cooking event. After the event was over, Lily and I went around town to some of the other bars the Goose Island reps were visiting that night and got to try some of their limited edition and rare beers that they were sampling. Some of these I liked, and some of them were not my favorite, but I really enjoyed experiencing them and hanging out with all the reps. It was a very fun evening.
You could say that we “migrated” from bar to bar!
This is one of the more unique events I’ve had the pleasure of attending, and I want to thank Goose Island for letting me be a part of it. Go out and try at least the Honker’s Ale if you’ve never had it before! As a big thanks to all of you, I scored an extra t-shirt and a copy of the “ManBQue” cookbook to give away to you fine folks! To enter, simply leave a comment below with the name of your favorite Goose Island Beer. Earn extra points by following me on Facebook & Twitter. Giveaway ends 7/27 at 11:59 pm. Good luck!
Best of luck!
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