I just got back from the sneak peek media preview that the Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa was kind enough to organize for us news-going folk. Let me tell you what, anyone that was lucky enough to get tickets to this year's Blue Chip Brewfest is in for an awesome time. Great local breweries doling out their best stuff to the awaiting public, all in one place at one time, inside of an excellent establishment like the Blue Chip – I don't see a downside here.
So here is what happened: The media preview was held in William B's Steakhouse. Nine local breweries set up shop throughout the restaurant, the representatives sporting their brewery's merchandise and beverages of choice for the evening. The chefs from Blue Chip Casino then served different dishes with each beer that were appropriately matched to enhance the flavor of the beer and the food. This was planned out beforehand as a collaboration between the chefs and the brewers.
For example: Figure Eight Brewery had an Imperial Stout that was paired very nicely with Blue Chip's rich chocolate raspberry cake, Shoreline Brewery paired their Beltaine Scottish Ale with seared some savory duck breast with pistachio mostardo and sweet potato hash, Bulldog Brewery paired their Oatmeal Stout with creamy bites of tiramisu, and Crown Brewing coupled their Irish Red with a classic Reuben sandwich.
"We invited the media in to talk to the breweries that are here that are going to be at our Brewfest on April 12. This is the first time we've done a media event like this." Jack Elia, Assistant General Manager of the Blue Chip Casino, Hotel, and Spa said. "Normally we go out to a local radio or TV station but this year we wanted to do something different. So we brought out partners in, which are the breweries, and give them the opportunity to get some exposure."
And exposure is what the breweries got. Multiple media sources (including Ideas in Motion) were there. We tried the different beers, tasted the delicious food, chatted and mingled, took notes, conducted interviews, took photos, and did our best to soak in all of the information that we could so that we could bring it to you to get you pumped up for Brewfest! It's a tough job, I know, but it has to be done. ;)
So how did the brewers feel about being part of this unique event?
Drew Fox, owner and Head Brewer of 18th Street Brewery in Gary, IN said, "This is really showcasing what we do as a brewery. We get a chance to hang out with people who we appreciate and respect and we don't often get to see them because we are all busy making great craft beer."
18th Street opened in December 2013. This will be the first time that they will be at the Blue Chip Brewfest. If you go, stop by their booth and say hi.
Michael Boshaw of Twisted K-8 Brewing in La Porte said, "This is a great way to show off our beer and pair it with some great food. We are excited to go to the Brewfest. We even have a brand new beer that we will be debuting at it called 'I Don't Remember'. It's our summer key lime shandy. There isn't any lemonade or anything else mixed in so it isn't really a shandy but it tastes like one."
Boshaw had a growler of "I Don't Remember" at the media preview and I got to try it. My verdict: bright and citrusy, refreshing, something that I could easily drink while I lounge on my back deck in the summertime heat. If you are going to the Blue Chip Brewfest stop by Twisted K-8's booth and try a sip of this.
All in all, a great night. Great food, great beer, great people, all under the roof of a great place.
If you haven't got your tickets yet for the Blue Chip Brewfest on April 12, 2014, get on it! Click here to buy your tickets!
Click here to see photos from the media preview event!
Breweries in attendance at the media preview: Shoreline Brewery, Figure Eight Brewery, 18th Street Brewery, Burn'em Brewing, Greenbush Brewery, Twisted K-8 Brewing, Crown Brewing, Bulldog Brewery, and Hunter's Brewery.