Recently I was fortunate enough to be a part of Bootlegger’s 7th Anniversary “Dinner with the Brewmaster” presented by OC Chef Andrea Machuca and Certified Cicerone Charlie Perez. It was located at the production brewery for Bootleggers and since I have never been there before I was stoked to see a new place, take some pics and eat and drink some amazing stuff.
If you know me, it’s no surprise to you that I got lost. Once we finally found the place, I was greeted by a smiling Charlie, who promptly filled my empty hand with beer and all was right in the world. I sipped on my delicious 7th Anniversary beer by Bootleggers while milling around the foreign space, idly snapping some pics. Once I polished off the first beer, I went outside to take some more pics and before I knew it, the dinner was ready to start.
There was a long table nestled between the tanks, adorned with hop centerpieces and mason jars. Our first course was a salad with butter lettuce, pickled lotus root, red oak greens, citrus, toasted chili peanuts, sugar snap peas, zucchini ribbons & Knuckle Sandwich vinaigrette. The butter lettuce and sugar snap peas were just so fresh and the peanuts added a lovely crunch, but the kicker was the pickled lotus root. Pairing: Palomino Pale Ale was the perfect beer to drink with this salad.
Second course was salmon rillettes, granny smith apple, pickled mustard seeds, dill, charred leek emulsion, micro cilantro & toast points. I love rillettes so much and I can’t believe I have never had salmon rillettes before. It was so delicious. There were a few unadventurous peeps at my side of the table who didn’t seem to get it, but everyone has different tastes. I like to make little sandwiches with the salmon and mustard seeds and apple with the dill and it was divine. Pairing: Lupulin Thrill American IPA that was a great cutting beer to go with the fatty rillettes. I wish I had some more right now.
The intermezzo was a cucumber cup, honeydew melon, sage granita, chile dust, pineapple & mint. This was a perfect little palate break with the fresh flavors and lightness. I believe this was paired with Mountain Meadow which was light with flavors of honey. Soon after it was on to the next course, the chicken dish.
The main course was black phoenix braised jidori chicken, gota lentils, confit garlic, avocado mousse, thai basil & chipotle coffee stout au jus. I’ve had Andrea’s jidori chicken before and all I can say is…damn it is good. She also made what might be my favorite lentils I have ever had, and I am normally not a lentils fan. They were fluffy and flavorful. Pairing: Rocco Red which complimented the tangy avocado and complex chicken.
The dessert was cap’n crunch berries panna cotta, mango coulis, raspberry fruit roll-up stars + strawberry pearls. The panna cotta was thick and creamy with the wonderful crunch of the cereal to add texture. Pairing: Sour 79 which was a wonderful compliment to the sweet cereal flavors and a perfect end to the beer pairing and to a wonderful meal.
Afterward I snapped some photos of the Bootleggers crew and chatted about camping and beer. It was a magical night, with good company. I am really excited with the interesting sours I tried from Bootleggers and fell in love with their beers all over again. Cheers!