Crafting Our Beer Dinner Menus

As a beer lover, it has been exciting and inspirational to create menus based around Vermont’s amazing selection of craft beers. As soon as I heard that we would be doing a collaborate pairing with Zero Gravity, my mind instantly went to steakhouse inspired dishes.

We will be doing a 5-course tasting menu featuring Zero Gravity’s, Green State Lager, Conehead IPA, Madonna, Little Wolf Pale Ale and Extra Stout. I had the pleasure to taste each of these craft beers and learn in more depth of each beers flavor profile to help me create each dish and come up with the best possible pairings that will marry the food and beer together.

Up first is the Green State Lager – This is a company favorite of Zero Gravity. It follows the line of traditional German pilsner that is dry, and light bodied with a firm but balanced bitterness coming from Hallertau and Saaz hops. As classic pairing with pilsners I automatically think of a nice burger. To kick of the meal, we will be bringing our famous burger into a fun couple of bites.   

Going into the second course it will be the Conehead IPA – Is a single hopped Citra IPA. The beer is roughly a 50/50 split of pilsner malt and wheat, this gives a light simple grain presence. The Citra is bright, zesty, and aromatic, citrus in a hop that will pair incredibly well with oysters on the half shell topped with a green apple mignonette and a fresh lemon.  This will serve as a lighter part of the meal and will help keep your pallet light.

Third Course will be paired with Madonna – The flavor profile is like the Conehead, but a bigger, more bitter, whole fruit hop profile. Citrus, lime and lemon, hints of pear and stone fruit. I wanted to feature this double IPA in the middle of the meal with a unique version of the classic wedge salad. The hop profile of Madonna with help balance the fatness from the blue cheese and Von Trapp’s pancetta while keeping the course light before going into the main course.

Fourth course features Little Wolf Pale Ale which is lower in ABV than Conehead, a more complex grain bill to offer a more rounded balanced experience that has a blend of multiple hops. This offers a modestly bitter hop profile with fruit, zest, and spice. Also, its gluten reduced and is bright, zesty, and aromatic. I wanted to feature a lighter beer with the main course that would not be too filling as we will be pulling out all the stops of what I love seeing and eating at a steakhouse. We will be serving a rosemary garlic marinated New York Striploin accompany by smoked fingerling potatoes, slow braised collard green, crispy Brussels Sprouts, sauce Au Poivre and a cabernet mushroom sauce.

Lastly is the Extra Stout – Is a black Irish-style ale with aromas of chocolate and coffee followed by the rich flavors of roasted barley, and a dry finish. When I think of stouts, I think of chocolate so why not finish a meal with a chocolate stout inspired pot de crème topped with a crunch of cacao nibs and the sweet and salty combo of a caramel sauce.

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