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Food: better with beer


Walk into nearly any California beer bar worth its hops, and you’ll see a No. 5 beckoning you at the bar. That 5, surrounded by a metal circle, is the tap for Racer 5 IPA, Bear Republic Brewing Company’s award-winning, hops-heavy signature beer.

From the Calendar

Sonoma Cellar Craft Beer Dinner
July 16, 6 p.m.
$75 (reservations required)
Sonoma Cellar at Sunset Station, 547-7777.

I could literally smell the beer last summer when I stepped inside Bear Republic’s Sonoma County brewpub midway through a full-day wine tour. Real brewpubs don’t smell like beer; they smell like sweaty grain and sour mash, somewhere between old milk and soil. This week at Sunset Station, however, you can enjoy the beer without bearing the scent. Sonoma Cellar has teamed up with Bear Republic brewmaster Richard Norgrove to create a five-course beer-pairing dinner that hooks up dishes like butter-poached sea scallops with the seven-year-aged Sammy’s Strong Ale and house-smoked pork leg and grilled peaches with Big Bear Black Stout. Racer 5 is on the menu, too, of course. So rest easy. The hops are in the house.

Craft beer dinner menu

First course – Butter-poached sea scallop with a tiger-eye whitefish caviar, Tahitian vanilla and chervil. This is paired with a seven year-aged Sammy’s Strong Ale, a Belgian-style ale.

Second course– Grilled Treviso salad with heirloom tomatoes and sunflower sprouts with a Huilerie Beaujolais citron vinaigrette and paired with Racer 5 India Pale Ale.

Third course – Artisanal Nürnberger bratwurst served in a brown butter with sultanas raisins, fried parsley and potato purée. This course is paired with Red Rocket, a strong American red ale.

Fourth course – House-smoked Niman Ranch pork leg with grilled Frog Hollow Farms peaches and served with peach chutney and grilled scallions. This is paired with Big Bear Black Stout.

Fifth course – House-made caramel corn served with spiced cashews and Valrhona Manjari Madagascar chocolate, and paired with a 2000 vintage Olde Scoutter’s Barleywine.

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