Be sure to keep an eye out for the next RJ Rockers beer dinner because these are events that you Spartanburg foodies do not want to miss! This collaboration with HenHouse Brunch was the third dinner in the series, the first two being with Southside Smokehouse and The Farmer’s Table. How I wish I’d been at those! Included in your ticket price is a pint of beer to enjoy while you wait for the first course to be served, so be sure to get there early to enjoy your pint.
The 5-course dinner featured dishes from HenHouse Brunch paired with delicious local brews from RJ Rockers. Kate White, Public Relations Manager with Rockers, said they bring the restaurant staff in to taste the beers which they then create dishes to match. Rockers also created a special beer just for this dinner, one that I’ve already petitioned for them to recreate!
The first course was a trio of deviled eggs – Avocado Lime, Grandmama Style, and Bacon Jalapeno. The avocado lime egg was super creamy with a slight hint of lime and a bit of spice, while the Grandmama style was on the sweeter side. I’m a sucker for spice so I saved the bacon jalapeno for last – I could have taken a lot more spice, but there’s nothing like a good egg/bacon combo. The beer paired with this course was the bestselling Son of a Peach, and those sweet, peachy flavors tied in nicely, especially with the bacon.
The second course was a hefty slice of brioche toast topped with a creamy spread cheese and avocado, bacon, tomatoes, arugula, a perfectly cooked duck egg, and lots of honey balsamic drizzle. There’s nothing better than a runny yolk, folks. The beer paired with this course was the special release, only for this event, and it blew my socks off: a Basil and Blood Orange Saison. If you’re not familiar with this type of beer, it tends to be tart and citrusy with more carbonation. This one had a heavy note of orange with a slight hint of basil, and I’d love to have it in a bottle by the pool this summer *wink wink*.
The third course was a Shrimp Panzanella Salad, loaded with chunks of bread that soaked up the juices of the dressing, tomatoes and grapefruit. It had a spice that lingered in a good way and was cut nicely with the crisp Palmetto Trail Pale Ale which has notes of grapefruit. Note: proceeds from the sale of this beer support the Palmetto Conservation Foundation’s “mountains to the sea” trail in South Carolina.
The fourth and main course was a garlicky brisket and sweet potato hash. The brisket was braised in RJ Rocker beer adding a nice depth of flavor, which was balanced by scooping a few of the pickled mustard seeds into each bite. You could tell they made this for the smooth, dark Brown Eyed Squirrel Ale with its smoky finish.
Last, and best course in my opinion, was the Espresso S’more Brownie paired with the Half Calf Coffee Milk Stout. The toasted marshmallow truly smelled and tasted like it had been over a campfire! The brownie was dense and fudgy with the espresso bringing out the coffee notes in the beer, which is brewed with Spartanburg’s own Little River Roasting coffee. Served alongside a light and simple vanilla gelato, this brownie was the perfect way to end the meal.
Be sure you are following RJ Rockers on Facebook to get notified of the next beer dinner and buy your tickets quickly! It’s such a treat to get to enjoy a meal in one of our local breweries. RJ Rockers is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3pm-8pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 3pm-9pm, and Saturdays from 12pm-8pm. And of course head on over to Wall Street to try HenHouse Brunch from 7:30am - 3pm, Monday-Friday. They know how to do a beer dinner right - from the table setting to the presentations of the beers and food – many kudos to the staff at Rockers and HenHouse Brunch for a fun evening!
Full disclosure: I was offered free tickets to this event to cover it on the blog. Giving me free food and drinks – while always appreciated – does not guarantee a positive review. All opinions are my own.