The U.S. National Whitewater Center just started offering a five-course dinner with craft beer pairings on Friday nights. The River’s Edge Craft Dinner series will run through mid-December, and likely extend into early January. Here’s what you can expect:
You don’t need to bring a date. Totally acceptable to go solo.
The atmosphere is very casual. As a matter of fact, it’s family-style seating. There are two long tables and you sit where you want. You’re encouraged to mingle and meet the people at your table. Don’t be weird and keep to yourself.
You’ll make new friends.
Again, community-style atmosphere. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet people that share your same interests (let’s say, beer and food), and learn about making your own lemon cello or running marathons.
Each night is hosted by a different brewery.
You’ll get to try five different 6 oz beers from that brewery, one paired with each course. You’ll learn why each beer pairs well with that food. Upcoming breweries include:
November 18 – Holy City Brewing
December 2 – Cabarrus Brewing Company
December 9 – Sugar Creek Brewing
December 16 – Mother Earth Brewing
You’ll learn about each dish from USNWC Executive Chef Michael Rayfield and the beer from a brewery spokesperson.
You can see the menu ahead of time so there are no surprises. There is also a vegetarian option available, just indicate when you order your tickets.
Rayfield comes from New Orleans and tells his story and experiences from there through his dishes. Before you taste each dish, Rayfield will explain the ingredients and their origin (like alligator that has been tenderizing for two days), and how each plays into the story of the dish.
Save room for dessert.
Rayfield grew up wanting to be a dessert chef and has a specific passion for desserts. Expect options like chocolate ganache coconut mousse, blackberry panna cotta with pomegranate mousse, flourless chocolate cake with thyme butter cream and java whoopie pie. Can I sign up for just the desserts?
You can win things.
There are raffles at the end of the night, for chances to win all sorts of brewery swag. And, even if you don’t win, you’ll leave with a takeaway goodie bag, with koozies, a pint glass and stickers.
What else should you know?
- Each dinner is $50 (tickets here).
- You don’t need to leave a tip.
- If you get there early or want to drink more, you can purchase beer or wines at the bar.
- Parking is $5.
Cover image via the usnwc.org