Hello again fellow Beer Lovers,
Last September 5, 2015 was a special day for one of the local craft brewers in the country. It was the wedding of mister Marvin Moreno! At long last, he and his former girlfriend/now wife Leica got hitched on a beautiful Saturday where everyone in the reception were given a chance to taste the special brews of Marvin for his wedding. The Aciel and the Royce.
To give the description of these two beers I’d rather have the brewer himself describe his beers.
Aciel is the name of Leica spelled backwards while Royce is the second name of Marvin. What I loved about this combination of beers is the spectrum in which the styles of beer are used symbolically in this special union.
The lighter style beer, Aciel, is a great symbol for the bride. The beauty and aura of the bride was definitely captured in this brew by Marvin. It was such a pleasant brew for me due to its crisp taste and its very drinkable flavor. This freshly made White Ale was definitely a great brew and I hope that they try to bottle this. It’s too good to be a one off brew. The beer is similar to the Belgian Witbier, the style that Hoegaarden is known for and for the recently popular Brew Kettle; yet, this beer is crisper due to its maltier body.
Royce, on the other hand, is a completely different beer. It is bold in flavor and truly a complex beer. Chocolate, coffee and roast malt flavors dominate the flavor of the brew but the hints of citrus (orange and lemon) give it a nice freshness that prevents the palate to be dominated by these bold flavors.
What I found to be beautiful with the two beers is the metaphor for the two. They are two different people but united by love. In this beer, the love is the citrus flavor. Kinda cheesy, I know (It’s a wedding damn it!).
My favorite part of the wedding was the table where the beer crew was located.
NEAR THE BAR
Now, a wedding without great food would be travestly. The food definitely was on par with the quality of the brews that night. I can only imagine the reception as a possible beer and food pairing dinner soon. The menu for the reception definitely hyped me up since I already downed several glasses since I arrived.
First off, Suckling Pig is my favorite. I never miss the opportunity to eat Suckling Pig wheneer I’m in Binondo or in Hong Kong. This one definitely fit the bill for my Suckling Pig loving affair. It was juicy with the right amount of savoury flavor from the fat without it being too oily. The skin on that thing was just pure bliss. I could probably eat this dish at least once a week and I wouldn’t get tired of it.
I know they say that Lechon is the best pig in the world but Suckling Pig for me gives Lechon a run for its money. The Aciel played with the oily aspects of the Suckling Pig through its malty and high carbonation characteristics that never left the palate overhwlemed with the fatty flavor. The herbs used to flavor the pig melded with coriander. It was a match made in heaven.
The second dish in the menu was featured in the picture earlier. It was the Dried Scallop, Cod Fish, Straw Mushroom Soup. The soup’s stock was light but thick with its flavor as a slight sea flavor dominated by the scallop and cod flavor. It’s an exercise in suble flavors of the sea with the earthy flavor of the straw mushroom. It was a nice dish to follow the Suckling Pig. The technical execution of the broth was on point. I’m not a big fan of sea food broths but this one was on point. Again, the Aciel shined with this soup.The light body of the beer was complimentary to the broth that it did not alter the texture of the soup but gave it another layer through the carbonation that made the soup balanced.
It’s the beauty of the Witbier style. The coriander is such a great herb while the orange peel gives a slight citrus flavor without it being overwhelming. Add those two flavor notes together with a smooth and very refreshing body, you got yourself a beer that can fuse itself with many dishes.
With this dish, the coriander was perfect through its soapy flavor. I find it wierd at times but when coriander is used properly, the flavor it adds to a dish is the difference of night and day. Try making a salsa without coriander, it doesn’t seem right. The orange peel or zest was just at the right level to cleanse the palate from all the flavors of the dish and the beer.
The next dish was a fascinating one. I’m more of a shrimp than prawn person for I find prawns to be hard to flavor due to its larger size. This one was spot on. The peppery, sweet and savoury flavor of the XO sauce went well with the sweet and fresh flavor of the prawns. The generous serving of asparagus made me happy. Again, the Aciel worked wonders with this dish. Any seafood works well with the Witbier Style. The Aciel’s malty and slightly sweet flavor was perfect with the prawns. The coriander washed away the possible overwhelming flavor of the XO Sauce while also complementing the generous serving of asparagus.
Now on to the heavier side of the banquet. Mushrooms, especially the darker bunch, are full of earthy and meaty flavors. I love me some portabello, shitake and this black mushroom. This black mushroom was more on the meaty side with a sharp earth flavor. I was not used to the flavor of this mushroom and I was slightly uncomfortable with it. Over the next few bites, it grew on me. It’s pretty obvious that it was a hit given how I forgot to take a picture of the dish in its unmessed state (sorry about that, the beer was too good to drink moderately).
With the heavier flavor, the Royce came in and made the mushroom dish a spectacle on its own. With the Belgian Stout having the heavier flavor of roast notes such as espresso and dark chocolate, the two flavors compelemented the earth flavor of the mushroom. There was a hint of soy in the brew (this is a normal for porters and stouts so don’t be surprised if you try one and find it to be similar to soy sauce) that melded well with the meat flavor and soy base of the dish. The Aciel was too light for the heavy flavor of the mushroom but don’t take my word for it, it’s my palate. The Aciel would have worked as well but the Royce was the better companion.
I’m not a big fan of fish but if there was a fish that I could eat anytime, it would be Lapu Lapu.
Light in flavor with a firm texture, the Steamed Lapu Lapu integrated the flavor of the soy well in the dish. It’s a simple looking dish but exciting in flavor. The picture does not paint a pretty picture of dish since it was too good to be instagrammed. What’s the point of picturing food in its pristine state when it is meant to be eaten? I took the picture just for documentations sake. The dish paired well with both the Aciel and the Royce. The Aciel’s malt and body worked wonders with the texture of the fish while the Royce’s darker flavors worked with the soy sauce in the dish. Both were great pairings. I couldn’t have asked for a better pair for the dish. It was a great way to discover the possible flavor spectrums of flavor.
Onto to the pièce de résistance:
THE PEKING DUCK
Peking Duck is my favorite Chinese Dish. There is no debate in my opinion. Duck is a beautiful bird that is meant to be eaten. Another type of dish that I love is fried Itik. The oily and gamey flavor of duck is hard to manage but when prepared well, Duck can give any protein a run for its money. It is that good and this one was an exemplary dish for the protein. The flavor of the meat was gamey, savory, slightly sweet and fatty. Usually, duck can be very gamey and oily. This one was done perfectly. It was not oily at all and the skin was perfect. The hoison notes within the skin along with its perfect crispy texture was pure bliss. Food gasm.
To add to that, both beers went well with the dish. I liked the Aciel in the white meat parts of the duck while I chose the Royce for the red mead parts. The lighter and cleaner flavor of the white meat was a great pairing with the crisp texture and carbonation of the beer and its citrus notes worked wonders with the gamey flavor of the duck. The Royce provided a nice body of umami flavor in the similar profile of a soy sauce that was a layer of added gasm to the experience. Thus, foodgasm and beergasm overwhelmed me. I guess it was a moment of sheer pleasure that I wouldn’t have minded if it were the end of the world that very second. It’s an overreaction but the sheer bliss that I experienced was great. I can still imagine it in my head. 🙂
The other dishes served at the reception were great.
The E-fu Noodles were on point and worked well with the Royce. The mushrooms and the sauce were dark and the heavy earth and soy notes of these ingredients were a perfect match for the Belgian Stout. It was good. It’s hard to battle the Duck though.
Sadly the dessert dishes were not pictured. I guess I had too much to drink at the time.
The night was amazing. It was definitely my favorite wedding in terms of beer and food. All weddings are fun but this will be a significant one that I will not forget. Food and Beer Gasm.
Towards the latter part of the night, I took a picture with Eli (left most,Mr. Books Bites and Brews), Mario (beside Eli, Great homebrewer, partner in Great Islands Craft Brewery and Dark IPA Devotee), Kiyo (Second right most or beside me, Katipunan Craft Ales), Chip (right of Kiyo, Craftpoint Brewing Co.), Aldous (right of Chip, Craftpoint Brewing Co. and yeast & lactobacilli culturist), Raffy (between Mario and Aldous, Katipunan Craft Ales and a great stand-up comedian). Damn that was fun!