In addition to the wealth of food and wine classes and two public receptions at the 2008 Epicurean Classic, a selection of classes and a gourmet dinner will focus on the vast world of beer. The 5th Annual Epicurean Classic, dubbed “The Nation’s Finest Gathering of Cooks with New Books,” is scheduled for September 11-13 at the Great Lakes Culinary Institute at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan.
Learn from experts such as Rex Halfpenny, publisher of Michigan Beer Guide; Ron Jeffries from Jolly Pumpkin Ales; Anheuser- Busch brewmaster Matt Licklider and representatives from New Holland Brewing Company, during these beer-specific programs at one of the premier culinary events in the country. Admission into the beer classes is $29 each. Advanced reservations are required online at www.EpicureanClassic.com.
• Real Beer with Real Cheese – Rex Halfpenny
Friday, September 12 – 2:30 pm
Explore the amazing taste sensations to be found in pairing beer with cheese. Stepping way out of the box, away from mass-market American cheeses and mass-market light beers, challenge yourself to learn about the breath and diversity of aromas and flavors found in different old world beer styles and how they harmonize with classic old world cheeses. Discover for yourself how these two ancient food groups compliment and enhance each other in a delightfully informative presentation. Rex Halfpenny has traveled all over the US and much of the world in search of beer. He has been making beer, wine and mead at home since 1992. He left the corporate world in October 1996, to pursue self-employment in the brewing industry and since February 1997, he and his wife, Mary, have been publishing the Michigan Beer Guide, a unique periodical focusing on the Michigan beer culture.
• A Tasting Tour of Europe’s Most Historic Beers – Matt Licklider
Saturday, September 13 – 11:30 am
Here’s a fantastic opportunity to belly-up for a tasting and history lesson of beers from the brewing world’s heart and soul: Belgium, Germany and England. Anheuser- Busch brewmaster Matt Licklider will guide you through a flight of beers from some of the oldest breweries in the world including Stella Artois (Belgium), Leffe Blonde (Belgium), Hoegaarden (Belgium), Bass (England), Boddington’s (England), and Beck’s (Germany). If you thought you were familiar with these historic breweries, think again. In the brewing world, they don’t take the word “brewmaster” lightly. Learn from the best. Matt has worked for Anheuser-Busch for more than 16 years in multiple A-B breweries around the world from Wuhan, China to Cartersville, GA to Fort Collins, CO. Matt is currently the Assistant Brewmaster in the Baldwinsville, NY brewery having responsibilities for the Brewhouse and Fermenting operations.
• Artisan Sour Style Ales: Small Scale Production At Its Best – Ron Jeffries Saturday, September 13 – 1:00 pm
Join owner and brewmaster Ron Jeffries of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, voted 8th Best Brewery in America, in an exciting look behind the scenes at this most enigmatic of breweries. Taste examples of Jolly Pumpkin’s exquisite sour beers, as well as classics from around the globe. Well, Belgium anyway. Listen, learn, taste, enjoy, and fully understand why these are some of the world’s most interesting, difficult-to-make beers.
• Beers for Cellaring – Rex Halfpenny
Saturday, September 13 – 2:30 pm
The majority of the beer consumed in America is designed to be served young. Light American Lagers are engineered to the least objectionable to the most people, to do this they are filtered, pasteurized, highly carbonated, and served ice cold. These beers will not age at all. But this is only one kind of beer, like box table white wine designed to be served chilled does not reflect the world of wine. Many beer styles are brewed to be far more complex, are packaged live, and will condition over time if properly cared for. While sampling a variety of beer styles brewed to higher alcohol strength and to far greater complexity, learn everything you need to know to make wise purchase decisions for cellaring beer. Remember, you may not be able to afford the world’s most expensive wines, but the best beers in the world are attainable and still remarkably affordable.
From the Farm to the Table Gourmet Dinner
Aerie Restaurant at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa
Featuring Select Beers from New Holland Brewing
Friday, September 12 – 6:00 pm
Chris Turano is a tremendously respected Chicago culinary talent with experience at some of the city’s most acclaimed dining spots. This dinner will reunite Turano with Grand Traverse Resort executive chef, Ted Cizma, formerly of Grace and Elaine’s in the Windy City. Turano is the top chef at Dine in the Crowne Metro Plaza Hotel in Chicago. Reservations are required by calling 231-534-6000.
• Crisp pork with roasted red haven peach and veal jus with chile pepper and fresh basil
New Holland Brewing Co. Golden Cap- Saison Ale 2008A modern interpretation of a traditional farmhouse ale. A soft, pale beer, Golden Cap accentuates the flavors and aromas of summer fields. Brewed with an ancestor to wheat called spelt, and bottle-conditioned; its straw-colored body accentuated with lively carbonation and unique fermentation profile evoke fresh cut hay and cracked peppercorns
•Seared and Chilled American Bison Tenderloin with golden beet vinaigrette, marinated heirloom Romano beans and fresh horseradish
New Holland Brewing Co. “Black Tulip” Trippel Ale 2008
Golden in color, Black Tulip Trippel is a delightful beer with a slightly sweet body. Its ester-laden character reveals an enigmatic dance between Belgian ale yeast and Michigan beet sugar, conjuring hints of bananas and rock candy. Its inviting flavor is complemented by a pleasing dry finish.
•Ale brined roasted chicken terrine with wild mushroom and black truffle
New Holland Brewing Co. “Dragon’s Milk” Ale 2007
A complex ale with a soft, rich caramel-malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones; all dancing in an oak bath.
• Slow cooked Lamb Shank, Caramelized Cauliflower Risotto, shaved raw sunchoke
New Holland Brewing Co. “Blue Sunday” Sour ale 2008
A blended barrel project to commemorate 11 years in beer. Presents crisp body, tart cherry like notes and a malty sweetness on the finish.
• Honey-Poached Apricots with Gingerbread, Vanilla Ice Cream and Tart Cherry Reduction
New Holland Brewing Co. “Pilgrims Dole” 2005
Barley wine-style ale made with fifty percent wheat malt, or “wheatwine”. Pilgrim’s Dole blends warming and slightly sweet flavors with a unique caramelized character.
Epicurean Classic was founded in 2004 by Mark Dressler and Matt Sutherland. Since that time, they have perfected a recipe for assembling an incredibly talented roster of national and international artisans highlighting fresh trends in food and wine, coupled with a stunning venue on Grand Traverse Bay. In just five short years, they have gained an enviable reputation among the nation’s finest food and wine industry leaders for this premier culinary celebration.
SPONSORS: KitchenAid, Meijer, Saturn of Traverse City, Passageways Travel/American Express, Great Lakes Culinary Institute, Traverse Magazine, Cherry Republic, General Cigar, 9&10 News, Traverse City Record Eagle, Stella Artois, Fuego Grills, Imbibe Magazine, WCMU, IPR