I don’t talk about every event that happens in Cincy Beer – there are too many of them – heck, there are too many great events to just talk about those, even. Because of this, you should know that when I do bring an event up it’s something that I really, really think you need to know about for one reason or another.
Before we dive into all of this, I want to make sure we’re all on the same page about who I feel like Fifty West is… their brand, I suppose. Every beer tells a story, right? That was the big point that Fifty has always tried to get across to us. As they’ve continued to grow up and evolve a little bit, they’ve turned their focus more and more towards Route 50 to show this to us. They’ve picked places, people, and experiences along the route to showcase the different stories that their brand and their beer can give us.
If you think back to any road trip that you’ve ever taken, while the stops along the way and the overall trip are important, it’s not what stands out in your mind, is it? It’s the people that you meet along the way, the stories that you gather and the experiences that fill your memories. This is the story of Fifty West. Every beer holds an experience… their beer taps are a road trip. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey that each beer can take you on.
50 West manages to continue this idea when they throw events, often taking an idea for a “normal” event and running with it, finding ways to lift it to a new place and create something incredible out of it. At the end of the day, that’s why I wanted to take a look at this series of beer dinners – I think the idea of hosting a beer dinner has the possibility of not being too exciting anymore, but somehow these guys have built something really fun, fresh, and experience-driven around it.
Let’s take a look at the overall idea before we dig into this month’s specifics. Each month this year, the brewery is focusing on a different stop along a Route 50 road trip to theme their dinners. The location becomes the inspiration for a three-course dinner.
12 of these in total will be hosted throughout the year – and they have packages available that you can purchase if you like the idea and want to go to more than one of them. You can not only pre-purchase a discounted ‘12-pack’ of all the dinners, but they have a discounted ‘5-pack’ available as well if you want to just choose five of them.
The locations? Here ya go:
- Maryland – 1/23
- Virginia – 2/27
- West Virginia – 3/27
- Ohio – 4/24
- Indiana – 5/29
- Illinois – 6/26
- Missouri – 7/24
- Kansas – 8/28
- Colorado – 9/25
- Utah – 10/23
- Nevada – 11/20
- California – 12/18
On January 23rd from 7-9 pm, the brewery will take fans on a trip to New England for a dinner inspired by the ‘Old Line State’. Each course of the meal is accompanied by a flavor description and beer pairing presented by Executive Chef John Tomain and Head Brewer Scott LaFollette.
You can bet that this dinner will have crab, and Old Bay! Actually, that brings up a great point – The courses themselves? I’m glad you asked!
- First Course – Crab Soup – A tomato-based soup with a variety of vegetables and fresh crab. This course is paired with Clutch Pale Lager.
- Second Course – Coddie – With a mustard green salad, tossed in an Old Bay and buttermilk dressing. This course is paired with an Old Bay-spiced Pale Ale.
- Third Course – Pit Beef – Maryland goat cheese popcorn grits, tiger sauce and finished with tobacco onions. The final course is paired with Blind Spot Oatmeal Stout.
Guests will be seated at 7 pm for an “Old Dominion” inspired meal:
- First Course – Apple & Brie Tart – Served with dressed greens and paired with Fifty West’s new Apple Cider.
- Second Course – Virginia Ham – Honey Saison glazed ham steak, roasted garlic mash & pimento cheese fritter. Paired with Paths Worn Dry-Hopped Wild Farmhouse ale.
- Third Course – Peanut Pie – Served with peanut butter ice cream & Saturday Morning Cartoon beer float. Paired with Saturday Morning Cartoons Breakfast Stout
The next stop on the journey as we enter Appalachia is the state of West Virginia. “Montani Semper Liberi” or “Mountaineers Are Always Free” serves as the backdrop and inspiration for our adventurous meal:
- First Course – Sweet Potato and Apple Bisque – Maple glazed pork belly, shaved fennel & apple. Paired with Switching Lanes Cider Hybrid.
- Second Course – Buckwheat Pancake – Smoked trout salad, chives, lemon oil. Paired with Get Outta Dodge Hazy IPA.
- Third Course – Beef Stew – Braised short rib, root vegetables, mushroom Demi-glacé & horseradish cream. Paired with Spare Parts Chocolate Maple Almond Stout.
The April destination of the road trip brings diners to our own beloved Ohio. Ohio is a state steeped in history and innovation. Chef Tomain will create a Buckeye State-inspired meal, as their homage to the people and stories that make Ohio so special.
- First Course – Grilled Corn Salad – Arugula, heirloom tomato, corn nuts, red onion, feta, & roasted lemon vinaigrette. Paired with Drive-In Cinema Italian Pilsner.
- Second Course – Goetta Lollipop – Ale braised cabbage, finished with house mustard. Paired with Ripple Effect, Pale Ale.
- Third Course – 5-Way Brisket – Kidney bean puree, Cincinnati chili sauce, aged cheddar & onion. Paired with Long Way Around, Brown Ale.
The May destination is the Crossroads of America, the Hoosier State, Indiana! Our neighbor boasts a culture centered around the competitive spirit with the Indy 500, and a deeply rooted heritage in basketball.
- First Course – Shrimp Cocktail – Spicy cocktail sauce & lemon. Paired with Get Outta Dodge Lemon Hazy IPA
- Second Course – Pork Tenderloin – House relish, fried potato & onion, finished with sweet corn aioli. Paired with Tea for Two Osthmanthus Saison.
- Third Course – Hoosier Pie – Sweet Cream and sugar pie. Paired with Hoopty Belgian Fruit Beer.
This month’s menu is a stop in the Prairie State… and a perfect summer menu.
- First Course – Chicago Dog Panzanella – Tomato, Onion, Sport Pepper, Dill Pickle, and Poppy Seed Crouton Salad topped with a Hot Dog, Finished with Mustard & Relish – Pared with Keys to the Streets Slow Pour Lager
- Second Course – Pierogi – Potato, Provolone, & Italian Beef filled Pierogi, Finished with Au Jus & Giardiniera – Paired with Downstream Hazy IPA
- Third Course – Gyro Meatloaf – Beef & Lamp Meatloaf over Eggplant Puree, finished with Tomato, Onion, & Tzatziki – Paired With Traveler’s Tale Hefeweizen
Ahhhh… the Gateway to the West… the Show-Me State!
- First Course – Toasted Ravioli – Filled with our pesto Ricotta & finished with marinara and Parmesan. – Paired with Orchid’s Honey Saison
- Second Course – Burnt Ends – Dr. Pepper glazed and served over smoked gouda grits – Paired with Red Light. Green Light. Hazy IPA
- Third Course – Gooey Butter Cake – Topped with vanilla ice cream & Tastee Whip caramel. – Paired with Tastee Please Nitro Ale
The road trip continues with this month’s stop at the Sunflower State.
- First Course – Wheat Berry Salad – Roasted corn, edamame, sunflower seeds, green onion & tomato, tossed in a sunflower seed vinaigrette. – Pared with Pop Top Belgian Blonde Ale
- Second Course – Midwest Taco – BBQ pork belly over jalapeño cheddar corn cake. – Paired with Great Oasis Habanero Blonde Ale
- Third Course – Chicken Fried Steak – Over cauliflower mash finished with country gravy. – Paired with Veinermobile Festbier
The road trip takes off to the Centennial State as the Fifty West Road trip keeps trucking from coast to coast.
- First Course – Grilled Peach Salad – Arugula, candied pine nuts, red onion, savory granola & goat cheese. – Paired with Memory Lane Thyme & African Honeybush Tea Kolsch.
- Second Course – Lamb Taquitos – Topped with green chili, pickled onion, and cotija cheese. – Paired with Float Away Hazy IPA.
- Third Course – Bangers and Mash – Bison sausage, mashed potatoes, and bison gravy – Paired with Hit The Road Jack Maple Pecan Brown Ale.
I missed getting this menu copied down while it was up. If anyone attended this dinner and wants to send me the menu that they had, just to satisfy my OCD – that’d be awesome.
The November stop along Route 50 is The Sagebrush State, Nevada!
- First Course – Chorizo Tamale – Finished with red & green salsa. – Paired with Pedal To The Kettle: Lemon Meringue Sour
- Second Course – Mushroom Ravioli – Filled with ricotta & wild mushrooms in a mushroom cream sauce. – Paired with Something Light Liechtbier
- Third Course – Lamb Shank – Braised in spiced tomato sauce over white bean puree – Paired with Paycheck’s Porter
The final stop on the yearlong beer-dinner journey is the Golden State, California.
- First Course – Cobb Salad – Avocado, Bacon, Egg, Tomato, & Bleu Cheese over Mixed Greens tossed in a Red Wine Vinaigrette. – Paired With Slug Bug Dry-Hopped Sour with Passionfruit
- Second Course – Tri-Tip Sliders – Caramelized Onion & Dijonaise on Toasted Sourdough Buns – Paired with Trees Of Tahoe Pale Ale
- Third Course – Cioppino – Assorted Seafood in a Tomato & Seafood Stew with Toasted Sourdough – Paired With Headlight on the Highway Hazy IPA
Stay tuned throughout the year as the brewery continues this idea – I’ll pass the dinners along to you right here, or make sure that you follow Fifty West on social media (or subscribe to their mailing list) where they give you all the details!