Last year, Chris and Kevin celebrated Oktoberfest in Asheville at Sierra Nevada's stunning new brewery. While they were there, they hatched a plan to bring their friends from Sierra Nevada in Asheville to Houston for a rare beer dinner.
Brian Grossman, whose father, Ken, founded Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, CA, in 1979, has been overseeing the company’s facility in North Carolina. He'll be joining us in Houston for the dinner along with Jessie Massie, the executive chef of the Sierra Nevada Taproom, and pastry chef Seth Massie, who will collaborate with Chris and his team on the dinner.
The menu is still being developed, but the beers we'll be serving are:
Welcome Beer: Pale Ale, served in a can with a koozie
Course 1: Celebration 3 Liter
Course 2: Ovila Saison with Sage
Course 3: Ovila Quad with Cherries
Course 4: Barrel Aged Dry Hop Drops
It's course 4 that gets Kevin the most excited. Celebration is a seasonal IPA that's released every winter. It's dry hopped in a small batch (400 barrels) in a traditional style--hops are in muslin bags, and they hang in the fermenter. After the beer is removed from the fermenter, the beer-soaked muslin bags are left to hang overnight. The beer that drips from these bags has traditionally been a brewer's secret, captured and consumed only to employees. While in Asheville last year, Kevin noticed four barrels sitting off to the side at the brewery. When he inquired about them, he was told that, for the first time, they'd taken the hop drippings and barrel aged it, creating Barrel Aged Dry Hop Drops. Not only is the drippings beer only available to employees, this is the first time it's ever been barrel aged. Sierra Nevada is sending us 15 gallons of the Barrel Aged Dry Hop Drops, exclusive to Hay Merchant. This is the centerpiece of this dinner, and there is no guarantee this beer will last beyond this dinner.