Paso Robles, CA’s Firestone Walker Brewing Co. debuted their latest anniversary beer, XV, on October 12th. To kick off the brew, an eight course pairing held at the Avalon’s Bardot Room in Hollywood was conceived by “Homebrew Chef” Sean Z. Paxton with the theme of deconstruction. The intent was to take the eight beers that comprise Matt Brynildson’s blend, XV, and pair them with foods to bring out their intricacies. Ultimately, the goal was to better understand and appreciate the anniversary beer that will be available for purchase at their brewery on November 5, and to Firestone Walker vendors shortly after. We were on the scene with chef Sean Z. Paxton and Firestone Walker Brewing Co.’s brewmaster, Matt Brynildson, to chat about Deconstructed LA.
Firestone Walker deconstructed
The craft brewery responsible for the creation of the XV has been taking home high recognitions for their brews. During this year’s Great American Beer Festival, Firestone Walker Brewing Co. was awarded the Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year; Matt Brynildson.
[quote]Aside from the already mentioned eight course pairings, the event strayed from the traditional sit-down style meal. Small side dishes were brought out with the beers to “create more of a social event,” says Matt. No tables were assigned and attendees were free to move about as they liked. The food and beers were brought out and served to patrons wherever they were. A lot of thought was given to the event. Even the decor of the venue was considered with encouragement given mid-way to venture into the interior room as the ambiance was matched to the food and beers. In Sean’s words, “I spent way too much time thinking about the menu.”
Sean and Matt’s synergy
[quote2 align=right]Deconstructed wouldn’t have been what it was without the creative forces of both the brewer and the chef. With several pairing events conducted together, a degree of respect has been established towards each other’s skills. Their admiration is seen with Chef Sean saying that the versatility of Matt’s beers are “harmonious” and they “build on each other and support each other.” This allows Sean several options when creating around the beers’ flavor profiles. Matt also appreciates Sean’s skills, saying, “Sean has a way of tasting those beers and knowing what to do.”
Marrakech Meets Hollywood Popcorn – saffron white truffle oil coated organic popcorn, cooked in duck fat and dusted in hop salt.
Malted Cashews – toasted cashews with malt, Moroccan spices and Double Barrel Ale glaze.
Double Barrel Ale (served from a firkin) & Pale 31
Duck Tagine – Liberty duck breast coated in Belgian sugar, coriander and ginger; cooked sous vide, topped with prune, pomegranate and Sticky Monkey sauce, over black beluga lentils simmered in Double Jack and carrot juice.
Cold ‘Union Barrel’ Smoked Sea Scallops – served on a roasted beet-fennel-ginger infused Israeli cous cous with a Double Barrel Ale Medjool date, fennel pollen and carbonated lime caviar.
Double Double Barrel Ale
Lamb Tenderloins – with dried apricots, lavender honey, shallots and Helldorado sauce, Bourbon barrel “tea” cooked butternut squash puree infused with Ceylon cinnamon and Double Double Barrel Ale, honey powder.
Merguez Sausage Pastries – phyllo dough layered with Za’atar wrapped homemade merguez spiced lamb sausage with Union Jack, house made goat milk ricotta with malt vinegar, orange zest and roasted Spanish piquillo pepper.
Cheese & Nuts – Moroccan almond cookies topped with crumbled Point Reyes Original Blue and a Double Barrel Ale wort honey, sprinkled with lemon thyme
Velvet Merkin Chocolate Cake – cubes of moist chocolate cake infused with Velvet Merkin, ‘skewered’ on pipettes filled with Sticky Monkey caramel sauce and coated in dark chocolate and malted pop rocks with pistachio powder.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Velvet Merkin
Bieramisu – lady fingers dipped in Good Foot and Elijah Craig 18 Year Old Single Barrel Bourbon layered with a malted raisin juice infused mascarpone cream and Vietnam Saigon cinnamon.
Salty & Sweet – beer bacon, cooked and coated in dark TCHO chocolate, encrusted in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrel smoked hazelnuts and caramelized coca nibs, Parabola chocolate mousse mixed with a few Marasca cherries.
Parabola & XV Anniversary Ale
A chat with Matt & Sean
To create an event like Deconstructed, the minds behind it had to be completely committed. Take a look at our video to see the passion that Sean and Matt display while talking over the results of Deconstructed LA.
Video produced by Stan Lee