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  • Crafting Beer with (512) Brewing Company
    Crafting Beer with (512) Brewing Company
    by John M. P. Knox

    "Definitely worth adding to your collection – it’s as good a visual record of the brewing process as I’ve ever seen." -Dave of

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Entries in Pairings (5)


Glenmorangie Scotch Dinner

Have you ever considered pairing Scotch with food? Until a few weeks ago, I had not. At the time I was eating dinner with some friends at Perry's Steakhouse & Grille in downtown Austin.


This was my first time at Perry's, and I kinda wanted to hate the place -- just a little. Perry's seems fancy. It's part of a chain of restaurants, and on the surface seemed like it might lack soul. Adding to the effect, there was even a Lamborghini parked outside the front door (yes, I'm jealous). It was just a gut reaction, a prejudice, and it was wrong of me. The pork chop changed my mind.

So, there I was at Perry's, poking around with my camera like I do, and one of the very nice staff told me about a Scotch dinner they were doing in a few days with Glenmorangie. My buddy Chris and I immediately signed up for the dinner. Never underestimate the power of pork to reverse first impressions.

Bank Safe Dining Room at Perry's

One dining room at Perry's is located in a former bank safe.

Glenmorangie Lineup

The Scotch dinner was hosted by Gregor Mina, also known as @ScotchGregor on the Twitter. He told us wonderful stories about Scotch and Glenmorangie. You can see the Scotch lineup above.

Seared Duck Breast with Gingered Cranberry-Pear Marmalade

Above you see the Seared Duck Breast with Gingered Cranberry-Pear Marmalade. This was paired with the Glenmorangie Artein.

Brasied Pork Belly and Brussel Sprouts with an Apple Fig Chutney

The Brasied Pork Belly and Brussel Sprouts with an Apple Fig Chutney. This was paired with Glenmorangie 18 Year Old. This Scotch would have voted if I had not consumed it.


The delicious beverage itself.

Fun stories about the distillery:

  • it is located on 500 acres on the coast of Scotland
  • the water source is a secret hidden somewhere on that land, and even VIP tours must wear blindfolds on their way to visit it
  • The stills are the tallest in the Scotch industry at 5 meters
  • Some of the stills were purchaed from Charles Tanqueray and moved from London 
  • The design on the Glenmorangie bottle comes from the signet stone on their property, carved by the Picts.
  • Glenmorangie makes it's own barrels with wood sourced from it's own forest in the U.S.
  • Before using the barrels, Glenmorangie leases them to bourbon producers for four years

For more interesting reading, I suggest the Wikipedia entry on Glenmorangie



Blind Tasting at Aviary


Do your taste buds ever get tired? Has your favorite drink stopped registering with your brain? A/B tests are one way to get your brain cranking and your taste buds excited again. Comparing two similar wines really exposes the subtle flavors in each in a way that drinking either wine alone can't.

Aviary Lounge and Home Decor was nice enough to have me over for a blind A/B test pitting American against French wines. In this case, the extra challenge was that the wine was paired with fresh oysters. Delicious!

See the rest of my Aviary photos.


Wine Ride: The Race Behind the Race

Mark SayreThe 2011 Wine Ride was a combination party, race, and publishing venture. You can learn more about the Wine Ride on the official site. And don't forget to look at the official blogs and videos covering the Wine Ride. You can even vote for your favorite team (my team, Team Mark is a tasteful choice) if the deadline hasn't passed. This post covers the race from my perspective as a team photographer / videographer.

Wine Ride festivities on Sunday started with all teams meeting at Uchiko. The team sommeliers, photographers, bloggers, and tweeters all mingled together and joked about who would win while waiting to draw their team race route. The job of each team was ultimately to produce an educational video and blog post from the Wine Ride experience. The official video would feature each Somm's description and justification of the pairings. Our blog post would combine Jennie's words with my photos and video to hopefully teach the world what we learned.

The drawing awarded us the Team Five route, and since there were four tasting venues, we waited in Uchiko while the other teams raced to their first destination. We sat at our table and discussed the logistics.

Jennie would drive my Infamous Orange Toaster and take notes for her blog post, I would take photos and video, Rachelle would live-tweet the event, and Mark Sayre of Trio would perform his magic of matching food to wine. To try to get the best content possible, I would also film Mark talking about the pairings in the car while racing between destinations.

ONIF - FINOAt the proper moment we ran to the car and strapped in. Our route took us to visit Antonelli's Cheese Shop, FINO, Central Market, and finally Foreign & Domestic. At each stop we had a similar routine. Mark was presented with a selection of food and a few glasses of wine. His job was to consider and taste each wine and each dish to find the "perfect pairing", the most magical combination of food and wine available. He had ten minutes to make a decision at each location.

The most striking thing to me, and you might catch a glimpse of it in my video, was how often Mark was already coming up with pairing ideas before he even sat down. He usually knew something about each wine, and had some notion about each dish before even tasting it. A Sommelier like Mark clearly keeps a lot of detailed knowledge about food and wine under his hat. Even so, he worked his way through each pairing, revising his opinion when it turned out that a sauce had a different flavor profile than the dish's name or appearance might suggest. I really enjoyed watching Mark's pairing brain work through the possibilities.

After the final pairing, we all returned to Uchiko. There each sommelier was interviewed about their perfect pairings on camera, and all of us were finally able to enjoy some wine with Chef Paul's lovely food. Mark's job was mostly finished, and Jennie and mine was just ramping up.Our Favorite Cheese Mongers

Over the course of the next few days, Jennie and I worked frantically on our post. The final blog was due on Wednesday afternoon, only three days after the event. I spent Monday before and after work selecting the best photos and editing them. Jennie chopped away at her blog post, as we both collaborated to distill a story out of the huge pile of content we generated on Sunday's ride.

On Tuesday Night, Jennie, Rachelle, and I met at Trio for happy hour so we could consult with Mark and collaborate on the big details of the blog due the next day. I continued editing the best photos, getting feedback from Jennie and Rachelle, and started pulling out the best video clips of Mark. All of this while enjoying Trio's tasty treats and amazing wine. We stopped editing late on Tuesday, leaving only Wednesday morning to finish editing the blog text, photos, and video.

Wednesday morning, I spent about an hour pounding my video into shape before a visit to the Chiropractor. My back and neck adjustment gave me a bit of a headache, so I just sat in the back seat of my car editing video for an hour or so. I started the video upload before arriving at my day job.

After a lunch meeting, I called Jennie to see if she had all the photos she needed. We had two hours before the deadline. It turned out she was missing a photo of the winning dessert, so I frantically flip through my Aperture library to find the sorbet from Foreign & Domestic.

I cropped the photo, adjusted the exposure, and evened out the lighting. Uploaded to Flickr and called Jennie, "Did you get the sorbet photo?"

Blinding Sorbet Photo"Yes," she answered, "but it's blinding. Can you make it less bright?"

I hung up, opened the photo again, and lowered the exposure. Upload. Rinse and repeat.
Less than an hour left.

I proof-read Jennie's blog post and called her. "Looks good," I said.

"I just changed it," she replied, "take another look".

Between my normal work activities, I scanned the updated blog. Ten minutes on the clock. I called Jennie with a final suggested tweak.

With only a few minutes left on the clock, she updated the blog, I scanned it again, and it was submitted to the authorities. Mission accomplished!

You can read our Wine Ride blog post here.

You can see all of my best Wine Ride photos here.

And you can see my Wine Ride video here.


Beer Pairing at Judges' Hill Restaurant


I met Chefs Rob and Sarah of Judges' Hill Restaurant at the Independence Brewery's open house this New Year's Day. The two chefs were promoting a beer dinner they're putting on January 16th. Both seemed really excited about the event, which they have planned themselves.

I love beer pairings, especially when a dish has been prepared specifically with a beer in mind. Especially when the chefs are so enthusiastic!

If you're a like minded Austinite, consider attending Judges' Hill Restaurant's beer pairing on January the 16th. They're serving a five course meal with a selection of Independence Brewing Company's beer.

I've transcribed the menu below:

Austin Amber paired with Boursin and portabella crostini with oven dried cherry tomato & fried boudin balls with spicy remoulade.

Bootlegger brown with kobe slider with sage derby, mole, balsamic onions, house-made sweet pickles, parmesan-truffle gaufrettes.

Stash IPA with butter lettuce wedge, champagne soaked apricots & cherries, bleu cheese, smoked pistachio vinaigrette, candied pistachios.

Freestyle Wheat with shrimp, chevre & black pepper grits, braised collard greens, cirtus chipotle vinaigrette.

Convict Hill Stout with up-side down molasses pear cake, convict hill ice cream, convict hill caramel, toasted almonds.


You can make your reservations at (512) 495-1800.

Update: You can read about and see photos from Jennie's test of this dinner here.



Beer and Food Pavilion at GABF

Have you peeked at the Great American Beer Festival's Beer and Food Pavilion Schedule yet? Holy mole sauce Batman, I want to go to all of the sessions!

Chef Teddy Folkman will be back to put on another awesome show (see photo on left). Last year's pairings were wonderful. I expect this to be packed.

Sam Calagione will probably fill the house with his pairings of exotic-wood aged beer and food. Exotic woods? That's news to me. Wow.

Hosea Rosenberg and Adam Avery will pair street foods with Avery beer. Street foods? Sign me up!

The other sessions look great too. Don't miss the other shows just because I didn't mention them here.

Some hints on the Beer and Food Pavilion:


  • Get there early. Be in a seat at ten minutes before the start at the earliest. The seats fill early.
  • Sit near the table off to the side of the stage. You'll probably get served first.
  • Sit in a chair. Folks who stand often get served last, and only if there is beer and food left.
  • Hang around after the show. The speakers are often available to chat for a few minutes after each show.
  • If your plate or glass is empty, you might get seconds. Cool!
  • Bring your own fork and napkins just in case. Supplies can run out and things can get messy.
  • These sessions are awesome, go to at least one even if pairings aren't your thing.


There are nine different shows over the three days, and they all look delicious to me. Be sure to look at the schedule and let me know which you'll attend.