Redoak is every beer lover's dream. Serving over 20 unique craft beers, there is a flavour for every taste bud. We were invited down to the Redoak Boutique Brewery located on Clarence street to attend a Beer Class to be served with matching food. Whilst we don't usually think of pairing beer and food (rather wine in most cases), beer definitely has it's place next to your dinner plate. We went inside with high expectations for the beer, and was expecting a completely different serving of food. We have been to many wine tastings and never had we been served this much food before!
Redoak's Beergustation Menu
First Tasting Course
The fried brussels sprout with blue cheese and Paddy's stout syrup was jampacked with flavour and turned the notorious brussels sprout from enemy to friend. The strong flavour from the brussels sprout and syrup was complimented well with Redoak's Organic Pale Ale. On the contrast, the colcannon with kale served in witlof cups didn't have the same effect, but instead was very rich and starchy which in a different way paired well with the pale ale. Speaking of which, the organic pale's chosen type of yeast gives a nice fruity character to this beer and really draws out the flavour of the hops. It is quite dangerous in that it is a very easy beer to drink. A simple, unique and flavoursome beer to start the night with!
Second Tasting Course
The scallop and organic pale ale chowder with chive batons was delicious however, the fishy seafood taste was very evident throughout the dish which was in fact to Christie's enjoyment. The star from this pairing was the smoked trout on a crisp, yet delicate potato cake, topped with fruit relish and sorrel. It was unanimous on the table, this was a winner! Paired with the food was Redoak's very own home bred champion, the Aussie Lager. With various gold medals under it's belt, more recently the Champion Draught Beer 2016 at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, this is not your typical lager. It's a light, well balanced style with subtle malt and hop flavours that leaves your mouth finishing with a crisp dry bitterness.
Third Tasting Course
By this point, we had made it through the easy ales and started to move towards the heavy hitters, your real carb loaded meals married with a heavy beer to match. Served to the table was an Irish Stout braised lamb shank, traditional colcannon, black pudding and fennel sauce. The lamb shank shocked everyone on the table. It was hearty and tender, the meat quite literally fell of the bone. This dish might not be to everyone's liking, but Matt devoured his plate. It was the perfect dish for the cold, miserable day outside. The creamy colcannon hit the spot, and the fennel sauce brought the dish together, so well that even the black pudding looked tempting! Redoak's Paddy's Stout was served to pair, and both our faces looked worried. Neither of us usually enjoy a stout, we prefer the lighter style craft beers, but was pleasantly surprised with it's creamy body and velvety texture. You can surely smell cocoa and vanilla with the roasted bitterness of coffee. It was like drinking an iced-long black, except, beer style!
Fourth Tasting Course
The fourth course seemed to be a resting course to let us all digest that monster of a main and stout. The perfect opportunity to showcase a beautiful Weiss beer and cleanse the palette with it's fruity accents and light body. The Felda's Weiss is a classic German style wheat beer. Cloudy wheat beer brewed true to style with hints of tropical fruit, banana and citrus. It was easy to drink and gulp! Paired with vintage cheddar, quince paste and homemade soda bread, taking a bite before returning to a gulp off the beer resulted in a very pleasant aftertaste. Even though the food was nothing spectacular, this was one of our favourite courses, and for the non-beer lover being Christie, it was her favourite beer of the night.
When dessert was served, all we could smell was that amazing Bailey, chocolate pashmak and caramel sauce. This chocolate cheesecake was heavy, sweet and had an amazing biscuit base that provided a crunch and sustance to the cake. Each bite felt so bad but so good at the same time and the ongoing struggle between "it's bad for you, stop!" with "it's so good, keep going!" played through our heads the whole time. The empty plate is evidence that our willpower lost the battle. This was paired with the Redoak Malt Teaser, the bigger, darker and less forgiving brother to the light Aussie Lager we had before. This lager is delicious on its malt profiles with sweet nutty and caramel notes coming throughout. The perfect marriage with the cheesecake - is chocolate overload a thing?
Last but not least, a complimentary sample beer from the Master Brewer: Redoak Global IPA.
IPA (India Pale Ale) refers to the style of beer which has come around as a result of us Aussies, wanting a fresh, crisp beer. Beer was sent to the settlers of Australia, but arrived from the long haul journey across the Indian Pacific, undrinkable. That called for research into adding hops o the beer, to make it longer lasting and kept it fresher for longer! Redoak however take a modern twist on the classic IPA. Using many hops from around the world, it's not only a multicultural beer style but also one with huge bitterness (and high alcohol content).
Hats off to the amazing Head Chef for pumping these out! Each plate was well presented and the quality of both the food and cooking was consistent throughout the night. This beer class definitely exceeded our expectations and we loved it. Janet (the wonderful host) did such a great job at not only answering some tough questions from beer fanatics but keeping the whole crowd entertained, educated and enjoying the class. Overall, great food, fantastic beer and a pleasant and well informed session. Will highly recommend craft beer lovers to take this class.
More details can be found on Redoak Boutique Beer Cafe
Snapshots of Food was invited by Creative Little Soul