Last night we attended Root Down’s first ever beer dinner, served up with firkins from Breckenridge Brewery. The event came to be through a series of one-upmanship between Breck’s Todd Thibault and Root Down’s Daniel Asher. Who could come up with the craziest offering for the pairing? Thibault suggested a firkin-only affair; Asher cooked up a dish using hops in every single item. The winner? Those of us at the dinner.
The room was full of Breckenridge employees, industry members, and enthusiastic attendees. Thibault emceed the evening, introducing brewers and chefs. Mike Henderson, top bartender at Root Down, kicked off the night with a beer cocktail formed from Agave Wheat, paired with an Agave Wheat-based shellfish dish. The night only got better.
Every firkin was offered alongside it’s packaged version. Vanilla Porter? How about a firkin version with rhubarb. 471 IPA? Let’s try that with some Chipotle.
Every dish was built around the beers as well, giving the chefs a challenge and a treat with each offering. The second course, an ESB-brined Colorado Fried Chicken masterpiece, served alongside a spent-grain chive cannoli, was a dish with hops cooked four different ways.
The evening was delightful. While the pairings were unique and the firkins one of a kind, Root Down does plan to offer more paired dinners like this. Keep an eye on Root Down’s Facebook page for upcoming events. The next one is most like a rosé pairing in June, and plans for a sake night, more wine pairings, and definitely more beer dinners down the road.
Note: Denver off the Wagon received two seats at Root Down for this event.