The third incarnation of Summit’s Unchained series of beer made a star appearance on Friday night at Tracy’s Saloon & Eatery in Seward. Hard on the heels of events at Burger Jones and the Muddy Pig, Friday’s India Style Rye Ale release party consisted of a six-course meal prepared by Chef Joseph Magidow to complement the new brew, described by the brewery as “a medium bodied beer with spicy rye specialty malts.”
Guests included Summit head brewer Mark Stutrud (below, glasses), Summit IRA creator Mike Lundell (below, in dark cap), and cicerone Michael Agnew (below, to the left of Lundell).
What follows is the tasting menu and notes.
1. Bouillabaisse Crudo of Bluenose and Opah Fish, Rye Flatbread w/ Rouille (Summit Pilsener)
This dish featured a cool flavor with a sharp spice at the end that quickly disappeared off of the palate.
2. Rabbit Meatball w/ Eggplant Vermicelli, Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette
The meatballs were breaded and fried. The dish was light and salad-like with a heavy focus on oil and vinegar flavors.
3. Soup Trio: Grilled Cheese and Tomato, Octopus Carbonade w/ Summit Pilsener, Saffron Consommé (Summit Horizon Red Ale)
The tomato soup had a pungent, bold spice that lingered on the palate. The octopus featured in the carbonade was spongy, not chewy, and cooked to perfection. The saffron consomme had a perfect mild flavor that aided in cooling down the palate from the spicy tomato soup and the salty ham flavor in the carbonade.
4. Stuffed Ham Hock on Creamy Rye w/ Green Sauce
The ham hock was stuffed with potato and bits of ham. The creamy rye was a whole grain that was heavily salted. The green sauce was parsley with a strong but not overpowering diced-up raw garlic.
5. Baked Oyster with Summit IPA Sabayon and Crispy Pig Ear (Summit Great Northern Porter)
The baked oyster was topped with a creamy hollandaise-like sauce with a powerful egg flavor. The crispy pig ear was cut into tiny strips and fried. The oyster was finished off with a sprinkling of freshly chopped tarragon.
Pre-Dessert: A house-cured pork fat back with a cranberry syrup and aspic made with caramelized sugar and honey.
6. Rye Eclair w/ Great Northern Porter Ganache and Hazelnut Cream
The eclair was soft and supple, allowing a fork to cut easily through it. It was topped with a mint sugar.