Tue | Jul 23, 2024

Beer tings at Jamaica Food and Drink Kitchen

Published:Thursday | June 13, 2024 | 12:07 AMShanel Lemmie/Staff Reporter
Wine lady Debra Taylor-Smith, luxury portfolio manager at Select Brands, gave a guided tour through beer-tasting.
Wine lady Debra Taylor-Smith, luxury portfolio manager at Select Brands, gave a guided tour through beer-tasting.
The chicken katsu with sesame peanut noodles was the perfect match for the citrusy notes in the Blue Moon.
The chicken katsu with sesame peanut noodles was the perfect match for the citrusy notes in the Blue Moon.
The beer-garita, made with Red Stripe Flavours, was the perfect way to end the afternoon for Caribbean Dreams Brand Manager Shanique Dunchie.
The beer-garita, made with Red Stripe Flavours, was the perfect way to end the afternoon for Caribbean Dreams Brand Manager Shanique Dunchie.
The Blue Mountain Coffee Stout from Wood and Water Brew Works paired with the duck confit with cherry sauce and duck fat fried potatoes was the star of the event.
The Blue Mountain Coffee Stout from Wood and Water Brew Works paired with the duck confit with cherry sauce and duck fat fried potatoes was the star of the event.
The afternoon’s beer flight included Corona Extra, Heineken, Blue Moon, and Wood and Water Brew Works.
The afternoon’s beer flight included Corona Extra, Heineken, Blue Moon, and Wood and Water Brew Works.
The classic Heineken was paired with seared tuna with chipotle orange sauce and tortilla crisps.
The classic Heineken was paired with seared tuna with chipotle orange sauce and tortilla crisps.
The full-bodied Corona Extra was paired with a fried goat cheese salad.
The full-bodied Corona Extra was paired with a fried goat cheese salad.
Jamaica Food and Drink Kitchen Managing Director Nichole Pandohie (left) and Wood and Water Brew Works Founder Spencer May pose with one of May’s creations.
Jamaica Food and Drink Kitchen Managing Director Nichole Pandohie (left) and Wood and Water Brew Works Founder Spencer May pose with one of May’s creations.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Last Friday, while the general public geared up to experience the offerings at Jamaica Food and Drink Kitchen’s (JFDK) Beer Fest, a select group of guests had the pleasure of a guided beer-tasting.

While a few of the offerings were not at all new to the Jamaican palate, JFDK Managing Director Nichole Pandohie said that familiarity is what her team would like to reprogramme.

“This month we’re paying homage to beer. We feel that most people think beer is just an easy, relaxed kind of drink, you know on a hot summer day hanging with friends. But the reason we’re doing something like this [is that] this time we really want to show that beer can be complex as well. There are notes, there are pairings, there are tastings.”

Building on that, Pandohie explained that to truly drive home that educational bit, they decided to have a more intimate launch experience ahead of the event.

On display at the morning event was Corona Extra, Heineken, Blue Moon, Red Stripe Flavours and as the guest of honour, local brewer Spencer May with his craft beer Wood and Water Brew Works.

See full story online at jamaica-gleaner.com.

Before launching into the proverbial main course, May gave the prospective beer enthusiasts in the room a walk through of all that goes into making beer.

“I’ve been a long-time beer drinker and about eight years of beer creation, both in home brew variety – you know, watch YouTube figure out how to do it – into a slightly more nano-brew beer,” he began.

“I’m very proud of what’s coming out of Jamaica these days, with Trouble’s Brewing, Clubhouse Brewing and of course our founding, Red Stripe, and the guys who have really pioneered the way for us lowly craft ‘beerers’ here in Jamaica.”

With what he claims are the four main ingredients to brewing on the table before him, May launched into an interactive micro-brewing lesson. The smell of malt still fresh in the air, he was gone as swiftly as he came, making way for the edible portion of the programme.

First being greeted by wine-lover and connoisseur Debra Taylor-Smith, luxury portfolio manager at Selects Brands, Corona Extra made its entrance into what was being referred to as the ‘re-beering’.

Paired with a fried goat cheese salad, Taylor-Smith walked her captive audience through the slightly fruity aroma and light but present body of Corona Extra.

Cautioning against having under-developed senses she said, “Culturally, we don’t smell a lot eh, agreed? So to really and truly get the best experience out of any beverage tasting, we don’t need too [much] tart expanding our smell repertoire. You need to start smelling fruits, flowers, vegetables, herbs and spices because these are the references that we use when we’re smelling our Scotch, our wine, our beer, etc.”

Moving on to a Jamaican favourite, Hanna Turner, junior brand manager at Heineken, walked the audience through the notes of the 151-year-old lager.

“It has a strong earthy, citrusy smell. It is very crisp,” she explained. Pairing the little green giant’s moderate fullness with an equal counterpart, a seared tuna with chipotle orange sauce and tortilla chips.

Wasting no time, On Premise Sales Manager at CPJ, Marc Lewis, introduced many to the unfamiliar face of Blue Moon.

Starting with a gem he said, “Blue Moon was named because the creator said a good beer comes once in a blue moon.”

“It is darker than the other beers that we have sampled,” Lewis explained.

With orange notes and spicy, coriander aromas, the Blue Moon has a slight grain sweetness and hints of lemon zest. Classified as one of the more popular pairings of the afternoon, it was served with chicken katsu with sesame peanut noodles.

Circling back to May, he shared his Blue Mountain Coffee stout.

With rich malt, berry and bittersweet cocoa flavours, May recalled his eagerness to indulge in its flavours when he first started the brewing.

“You guys saw the malt that I used today was a very wheat-coloured malt. The malt that was used for this here was chocolate and roasted malt, it had rich flavours. When I first dropped it in the pot for the boil, it filled the room with chocolatey notes, it was delicious. I absolutely wanted to drink it right then and there but I held off because I was told if you wait six weeks and put it in a bottle it’ll taste better so I tried that.”

May’s creation was paired with duck confit with cherry sauce, with duck fat fried potatoes. Though the majesty was lost on some, this pairing was the favourite of the dynamic duo behind Savour the City, Shannelle and Omari Harris.

Ending the afternoon with what can barely be considered a workout, the group was treated to a beer-garita made with Red Stripe Flavours. Guided through the experience by mixologist Brian Broderick, after shaking to their individual delights, guests indulged in a chocolate coconut alfajores with marshmallows, ending the whole experience on a sweet note.

shanel.lemmie@gleanerjm.com