Preface/rant: When Josh forwarded me the email for this event I was relatively excited, but I was in a different mindset at that time. Since that email and RSVPing for this event I’ve been living in a Stone world. Drinking their beer and reading their book has left me in a Stone mindset. For people who may not be familiar with Stone or Leinie or either let me personify them for a moment with help from The Breakfast Club. Stone is Judd Nelson, kinda big and kinda bad but pretends he’s bigger and badder than he is. Leinie is Anthony Michael Hall, small scrawny nerd to the core… though in this case his dad isn’t the janitor but is the principal who has enough money to not only raid but entirely buy out Barry Manilow’s wardrobe. Regardless of that we’re still talking about Leinenkugel here (damn that’s hard to keep spelling) the 2nd or 3rd oldest brewery in America that got bought out by Miller in the 80s. Before craft brewers had the balls (and market share) to stand on their own. Recently Leinie’s been putting up a fight to show off their craft gravitas now that craft is all the rage. Sadly though they keep pushing Summer Shandy which is more like Mike’s Hard Lemonade then it is like Rivertown’s Blueberry Lager (first fruity beer that came to mind). While pushing the Shandy they’re hiding Big Eddy like he’s a shame to the family.
Pay attention here Leinie reps, I went to this beer dinner FOR the Big Eddy (and the free food cause I’m a sucker for free food). It’s time for Big Eddy to grow up, put on his big boy pants, and move the hell out of dad’s house. Stop making Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout and make Big Eddie’s Russian Imperial Stout. New brand, new marketing, new independent stlye. This way you don’t have to worry about the “journey flow” (seriously, the rep used the words journey flow) from Summer Shandy to Big Eddy RIS. And one last rant, What The Fuck is a “journey flow’?? The only thing Journey should have to do with beer is drunk people singing “Don’t Stop Believing” at weddings… a thing I have never done… twice…
Rant over, on to the food…
1st Course – Summer Shandy and Sugar Cane Skewered Shrimp
Style: Fruit (lemon) beer
Alcohol by volume: 4.2
Ingredients: wheat and pale malts, cluster hops
Pours out a very pale light yellow color with a fizzy cloudy texture… If the makes sense. Not very appeasing appearance, but it does pull off the lemonade thing.
Pretty overwhelming lemon citrus aroma.
Taste brings back the lemonade again with crazy citrus flavor.
Smooth and light mouth feel followed up by a crisp finish.
Meh. Not great, if you’re crazy for lemons or lemonade then go for it! It is highly refreshing though.
As I’ve said before I’m no foodie but man that was tasty shrimp!
2nd Course – Honey Weiss and Conch Fritters
Sytle: Wheat Ale
Alcohol by volume: 4.9%
Ingredients: cluster hops & Wisconsin honey. Wheat & pale malts.
Pours a perfectly clear light yellow with no head.
Smells rather generic like so many light lagers before it with a nit more wheat and honey.
Tastes like Miller light + wheat, honey isn’t hugely noticeable but is present.
Another smooth mouth with a bit of zing.
It’s a very basic light wheat lager. This food is again out of the world. Awesomely tasty Fritters with a great spice lime aoli (mayo) sauce.
3rd Course – Red Lager and Fried Cheese Ravioli
Style: Vienna Lager
Alcohol by volume: 4.9%
Ingredients: five barley malts, two of which are roasted and 2 “American hops”
Another ultra filtered super clear beer. Nice amber color though with good amount of white head.
Clean toasted malt aroma With slight hop presence.
Malt taste matches the smell with a slight hop bitterness that comes off very balanced.
Crisp mouth feel.
Overall a decent light amber Lager. The rep needs to check himself though, the word dark has nothing to do with this beer.
ZOMG this Ravioli is awesome. I’m sorry Chef Boyardee, we’re through. Luckily it does make this beer much better, excellent pairing here on the part of Hollywood Casino!
4th Course – Classic Amber and Wagyu Beef Burger
Style: American Amber Lager
Alcohol by Volume: 4.9%
Ingredients: pale, Munich, and caramel malt with hallertau, Mt. Hood, cluster and Cascade hops
Orange-brown hue with a heavy film of white fluffy head.
Very malty which excites me the most of anything so far tonight. Fair bit of floral and spice hops as well.
Tastiest so far with great malt character.
Sorry I forgot to shoot the burger it was too tempting to resist. Let’s just say this is the best slider I’ve had in my life and I can die happy now.
5th Course – creamy dark and Dark Chocolate Brownie with Stout Ice Cream
Style: Creamy Dark
Alcohol by Volume: 4.9%
So they switched it up on us at the last minute and from what I’m told this is a bit of a win because the creamy dark doesn’t usually escape Wisconsin.
So the rep thinks this is really dark and will scare people… Seriously I’ve seen ipas darker that this. First acceptable head of the night.
Great malt smell.
Very decent taste, sadly by taste buds are getting a bit overwhelmed (not drunk as we haven’t passed 5%) but I’m getting a great malt flavors with a bit of hop bitterness that balances nicely.
Smooth medium bodied mouthfeel.
Easily the best beer we’ve had so far, but this is no big Eddy imperial Stout.
Over all the dinner was awesome and the beer was mediocre.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I, and the other excellent writers at Queen City Drinks, were all invited to this event fore free. To our readers, and any breweries interested in sending me stuff, giving me free beer impacts the review in only 1 way. That way is that I WILL review the beer and I WILL write a blog post about it. Giving me free beer does not guarantee you a favorable review or that I will tell everyone to go buy it or anything like that.