The idea of a beer and a shot aren’t new, but as the craft beer movement is expanding the flavor profiles of beer available in the Miami Valley and with the expertise of the staff and the abundance of bourbons on the shelf at The Century Bar, it just seems inevitable that the bar has been raised on the concept. So when Warped Wing Brewing Company and The Century announced a paring event for this Saturday, May 31st, I knew it would be something special. So when Joe invited me to attend the pairing meeting, I was pretty excited.
Joe Head and Tim Fry from The Century and Head Brewmaster John Haggerty, Sales & Marketing Manager Nick Bowman and assistant brewmaster Jeff Fortney of Warped Wing (pictured left to right)showed up at the bar for the planning session full of ideas. They all agreed on a working theory of starting with the beers- lightest to heaviest and then finding the most complimentary bourbon to pair with it. I know everyone thinks that would be an easy job, but with the tasting, discussion about finish, mouth taste and complimentary vs. contrasting flavors, I realized that this was real work. Were flavors that blended better than opposite tastes? Did a too strong bourbon wash out the spice in a beer? “The power of the pairing can calm down an IPA and give it a creamy mouth feel,” observed Joe Head after one potential pairing. At one point, there were over 30 glasses on the bar and it was pretty confusing trying to keep up what was in each glass.
I could only stick around for an hour and so I’m not sure what the final pairings will be, but the beers to be featured start with a brand new Warped Wing release – Catfight- a Belgian Saison, followed by Flyin’Rye, – a rye IPA, Gypsy Queen, a Chile Beer and 10 Ton – an Oatmeal Stout. The bourbons won’t be announced in advance, so you’ll have to make a reservation for the Sat 4-6pm event to find out what they are. It’s a true bargain at $25, and includes four 4oz beer and 1 oz bourbon duo’s served up with a good deal of background from some of the most knowledgable bartenders and beer aficionado’s this town has to offer. There are only 50 tickets available and about 1/2 of those have been sold already. Call The Century at 223-3382 or stop by to reserve your seat.
And just from the flow of conversations and chemistry that was evident between these men that take their drinking seriously, you can be sure that this won’t be the only partnership between Warped Wing and The Century.
Update: The event was a sell out!