May 17th marked the First Annual Bite at the Beach, organized by the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce and held on the MBS Studio back lot where twenty breweries paired their beers with twenty restaurants from around the South Bay, melding delicious dishes with incredible craft brews. The event had two panel sessions MC’d by Food Network star Adam Gertler: “The Art and Craft of Beer Pairing” and “Fun with Beer”. The tickets for the event ran $100 and $200 for general admission and VIP, respectively. The VIP ticket got you in an hour prior to opening time, a sampling of special barrel-aged beers and a how-to in-home brewing discussion.
The Pacific Gravity Home Brewers Club of Culver City brought nine experimental brews, bottles of assorted meads and took part in the discussion of home brewing for VIP attendants. Although Pacific Gravity Home Brewers Club did not have their beers paired for the event, Many of their wonderfull crafted brews were a great alternative for pairing.
The culinary delicacies that were provided for the parings were the feature of the event, blending light fresh foods and light bodied beers were the kind of successful collaborations that made this event not just a beer fest, but a food fest as well. One of my favorite pairings was Coni Seafood’s shrimp ceviche with The Dudes’ Brewing Company’s Kolshtal Eddy. Another monster pairing was Goose Island’s Bourbon County stout, a rarity on its own with Local DOMA Kitchen’s Belgian waffle drizzled with condensed milk topped with toasted almonds.
Attendees had so many dishes to choose from, ranging from salty to sweet. You had bites like bacon-wrapped shrimp, scrumptious crab cakes, pulled pork sliders and one of my favorites was the braised short ribs with mashed potatoes made by the fantastic chefs at Paul Martin’s American Grill. You also had desserts that made your mouth water, but the best part of it all is how well the beer was paired. Being a beer and food lover, it was amazing to experience my two favorite loves from a culinary perspective. Having such an amazing turnout with attendants and incredible participation by the breweries and restaurants, this was an event that was worth its weight.
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