“The Imperial Beer Series was the benchmark for our company, sort of our departure point,” explains Short’s Brewing Company founder Joe Short in the latest Short’s Cast. “It was one of those projects where I wanted to go all in – sort of a make it or break it effort. Setting up shop in a small, remote community we really had put ourselves out there and give people a reason to come and seek us out. We didn’t have a whole lot of volume or a whole lot of distribution. What we did have was a lot of creativity, some brewing skills and a whole lot of imagination.”
The imagination of Joe and his crew led to the development of the Imperial Beer Series in the fall of 2006. The idea was simple: make a series of imperial strength beers, one per month, using nontraditional or unusual ingredients from beer’s long history and release them all at the end of the year. The series was hand-bottled and each came with its own trading card and story. Due to the positive reception of the series by beer lovers, Joe decided to hold a beer dinner for 100 people to commemorate the series and the people who helped make his dream of what beer can be a reality.
Fast forward to June 7, 2014 from 7-10 PM when Short’s Brewing Company and the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa will re-create the thirteen course Imperial Series Beer Dinner at the Garvey Family Barn just north of the Resort in Williamsburg, MI.
While the Short’s crew will be in attendance, Chef Bill Matthews of the Resort is the one charged with making it all come together. He says, “This dinner is different than any we’ve ever done. The crew at Short’s put this menu together ten years ago, and served it from a kitchen not much bigger than my office. We’ve taken their menu from that original dinner and used the ingredients and ideas for each course to re-imagine each of the 13 pairings.”
Matthews says that the great feedback they had on the station setup for the Brewers Dinner this winter led them to a similar setup for this dinner. Although that will allow people to move through stations at their own pace and in their own order, he recommends following the order of the pairings listed below.
Joe says, “It takes a vision and a dream to see that working through challenges of insurmountable difficulty can produce something amazing and beautiful. The re-creation of this beer dinner is a celebration of overcoming those challenges and the amazing beer that resulted.”
Listen to more of story behind that first dinner in the latest Shortscast podcast. Click for the full Imperial Beer Series Dinner menu and event detail. The event is limited to 100 people with a cost of $65 per person, which includes tax and gratuity. To book your reservations call 800-236-1577.
Short’s Imperial Beer Dinner Pairings
Pairing #1: Short’s “The Abnormal Genius” imperial golden ale fermented with sunflower seeds and Earthwork honey paired with organic peanut butter on toasted spent grain wheat bread with apple shavings.
Pairing #2: Short’s “Aorta Ale” imperial red ale with subtle aromas of candy, brown sugar and toasted malt paired with mini jerk turkey burgers with red pepper and aioli.
Pairing #3: Short’s “Black Licorice Lager” high-gravity black lager spiced with Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans, fresh chocolate mint leaves and anise seeds paired with chocoloate-covered orange segments.
Pairing #4: Short’s “Peaches & Creme” high-gravity golden ale brewed with lactose and fresh peaches paired with prosciutto-wrapped melon.
Pairing #5: Short’s “Ginger in the Rye” rye Munich Weizen aged on fresh ginger paired with sesame-crusted seared tuna served on a flat cracker.
Pairing #6: Short’s “Black Cherry Porter” imperial porter fermented with fresh, sweet black cherries paired with baguettes made wth spent dark grains, toasted, and topped with cherry butter.
Pairing #7: Short’s “Soft Parade” double golden rye ale fermented with blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries paired with lemon rind Stilton cheese on fresh cornbread.
Pairing #8: Short’s “Publican Porter” imperial London ale with black, opaque color that leaves a dark brown lace paired with cold-shaved beef with horseradish cheddar and vanilla onions on toast points.
Pairing #9: Short’s “Good Feller” imperial India pale ale with notable caramel and toast similar to a red India pale ale paired with caramel corn clusters with chocolate and nuts.
Pairing #10: Short’s “Bloody Beer” fermented with Roma tomatoes, tellicherry peppercorns, celery seed, fresh horseradish and dill paired with herbed oven-roasted tomatoes, goat cheese and salami served on toasted baguettes.
Pairing #11: Short’s “Imperial Spruce India Pilsner” brewed with Northern Michigan blue spruce needles and healthy doses of high alpha hops paired with smoked trout with creme fraiche.
Pairing #12: Short’s “Imperial Carob Stout” brewed with roasted malt, dark specialty grains and carob paired with warmed chocolate oatmeal raisin cookies topped with raspberry coulis.
Pairing #13: Short’s “The Woodmaster” double brown ale fermented with Earthwork maple syrup and toasted pecans paired with homemade maple pecan ice cream.