Thursday, October 16, 2008
Houston Cellar Classic and Saint Arnold's
Fresh off of the Great American Beer Festival, we enter the week of the Houston Cellar Classic, put on by The Tasting Room. This is a unique week in Houston filled with wine tasting, wine and food pairings, dinners, etc. It also includes a special day for beer, specifically Houston's own Saint Arnold's. That day was yesterday. When it was announced that the HCC would be having a special Saint Arnold's Beer tasting, I can't tell you how excited I was. Remember this was the same group of folks that put together the awesome Saint Arnold's and Texas Cheese pairing afternoon last year. So what was I expecting? This being held at the TTR Midtown location, known locally for its "Grilling and Chilling" Wednesdays, I was expecting small bites grilled of course, and paired with individual Saint Arnold's beers. What did I get? Some small grilled bites (great Buffalo Slides, ribs, and frites from Max's Wine Dive), and Saint Arnold's beer (the regular line up along with their Octoberfest), but no pairing. It was just a grab your food and grab a beer, any beer will do set up. No pairing, no showing how well each specific beer can go well with different types of food.
Would HCC do this and call it a Wine Tasting? No, they would have specific foods matched with each wine, so why not the same respect shown for good beer? You have such a wide range of beers here, from the light crispness of Lawnmower to go perfectly with grilled seafood, to the richness of the Octoberfest, perfect for some grilled brats, or even the grilled ribs they served. To call my extremely disappointed in yesterday's evenings festivities is an understatement as I really think HCC, TTR, and yes even Saint Arnold's missed the boat on this one.