Lady dates & taster plates

Beer 101 – Ladies Only! at Pig & Duke

Now I love my craft beer, I love food and I am in marketing and events as a career, needless to say, I love beer paring events. One thing I am not so versed on are ladies nights, I just generally don’t see the need for the segregation. Even my batchelorette party was not only “ettes.” It was combination with my now husband, and all our friends came along for bowling, go carting, laser tag, a scavenger hunt and then of course…beers.

When I saw that Date Night YYC and Pig & Duke were hosting a ladies night with eight snacks and beer pairings I knew it was time to try ladies nights – so seeking a lady date I went! 
Finding a date that a) liked beer and b) was free on short notice for Saturday night was harder than I thought, and my date did not fit the first criteria but was excited to go nonetheless, should have asked her earlier! Maybe this was an opportunity to convert a radler-only beer drinker to something closer to the beer nerd end of the scale I occupy? I don’t think I succeeded in that regard, but woMAN we had fun!

I should have taken more pictures of the actual event, and better ones of the food at that, but I was so distracted by the good food, beer an conversation that I just didn’t get to it. The seating was family style, so we could chat with whomever was at our table which was nice. The event ran from 4:00pm – 7:00pm so good timing for bite-sized snacks and sipper size libations; not so much food that we forewent dinner, but enough that we were happy. The event was hosted by Neil Smithson and Derek Dinsdale of Trucraft Beverages and Graham Sherman of Tool Shed Brewery. Graham and Neal spoke about each pairing and shared some fun facts, and all three guys interacted with each table, answering questions, telling stories and the like. It was a great atmosphere and if there was a person not enjoying themselves, I sure didn’t see them!

Alright, on to the parings! Pig & Duke Head Chef Evan Robertson did a truly excellent job, not just with the food itself which was amazing, but with pairing it so seamlessly with its chosen beer mate. Each one was so cleverly matched or complimented, it was really impressive.

1/8 Tuna Tartar + Steamworks Pilsner 

I’m not generally a fan of raw fish, a bit of a sushi wuss, I want to like it more than I do. I will eat it just or the sake of forcing my tastebuds to climatise, I feel like it’s working. This however was so well seasoned with refreshing soy and ginger that I actually loved it! The Pilsner was light and refreshing as to not overpower the fish and accompanied it very well.

2/8 Oysters + Tool Shed People Skills Cream Ale

I pride myself in not being a picky eater, but two things I just don’t eat are snails and raw oysters. I didn’t however, want to miss out on the pairing! So I cut a manageable piece from my oyster, put on a dollop of cucumber vinegar and ate it anyway. Then I gave the rest of mine to someone who would properly enjoy it! The smoothness of the cream ale was a nice balance for the oyster, very well done. Also, my non-beer drinking non-oyster eating lady date put me to shame by eating her oyster like a champ and making me look like a little girl.

3/8 Bruschetta + Steamworks Pale Ale

This pairing seemed quite simple, and it was, but pale ales aren’t generally too complex so a pretty classic bruschetta on crostini with balsamic glaze and fresh  parmesan worked well with it. Steamworks makes an excellent pale ale, the kind you want to drink on a sunny hot day.

 4/8 Duck Pizza + Tool Shed Belgium Dip

This was one of my favorites; the duck was well cooked and the mini “pizza”  had red grapes and orka cheese which was delicious.Tool Shed’s Belgian Dip combines tropical mosaic and simcoe hops for a floral, hoppy and drinkable belgian style beer.

 5/8 Blueberry and Watermelon Spinach Salad + Tool Shed Star Cheek IPA

This salad was the definition of fresh! Blueberries, watermelon, almonds, spinach and a feta and goat cheese dressing. It went great with the newly improved Star Cheek IPA. They recently upped their game with the hops in this beer and it shows!

6/8 Fish Taco + Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA

The next beer, Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA is one of my favorites. As I already coined something the “definition of fresh” I suppose I cannot say so again, but this beer truly is refreshing. As the name suggests, if you were to take ripe hops and “juice” them, I imagine it would taste a lot like this beer. Its green taste made it a great pair with the fish taco which had a mango and pineapple salsa

7/8 Rib Eye Skewer + Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale

With a steak I would normally choose a bit of a darker beer but this pale ale was malty and full of flavor. The skewer had pearl onion with the asparagus and rib eye and just enough dressing.

8/8 Bacon Pancake + Tool Shed Red Rage

As I love stouts and porters, I generally hope for one at the end of a beer dinner and being a women’s event, I was expecting a chocolate dessert. But apparently, give a room full of ladies a Red Rage and a bacon pancake and everyone is just as happy! I haven’t been to Pig & Duke for breakfast yet, but rumor has it this bacon pancake is on the menu, and I am still dreaming about it.
Pig & Duke, Tool Shed and TruCraft did a fantastic job; the event was well attended, well hosted and we were definitely well fed!  Kudos to the organizers and the chef!

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