We love Whole Foods. We are there 2-3 times a week for one of the following reasons: their craft beer selection (and growler station), coffee bar, amazing cookies, and endless choices at the hot bar and salad bar. When we heard Whole Foods was hosting an event like this we knew it would be a winner.
Tickets for the Autumn Beer Dinner were $30 with proceeds being donated to the Land Trust of North Alabama. The dinner consisted of four courses, each paired with a local craft beer. The menu really put a focus on fresh and locally-sourced ingredients from farms around the area. This was the first time Whole Foods Huntsville had put together an event like this and based on the success of this one, I know they are already looking forward to doing it again.
For our first course we enjoyed roasted beets with Humble Heart Farm goat cheese and gremolata drizzled with fig vinegar. I have been a huge fan of the Humble Heart Farm goat cheese since I had it on a burger at Farm Burger. You can also purchase the cheese at Whole Foods for use at home; it’s great on pizza! This course was Allen’s favorite and for good reason. They chose to pair this meal with Grapefruit Mach 1 IPA from Rocket Republic Brewing Company, and it worked so well together. This was also our favorite beer of the night.
We were both excited for the second course: stuffed quail with cornbread stuffing. This reminded me of Thanksgiving, and the cornbread stuffing had a savory yet sweet taste to it. Quail typically has a stronger flavor than chicken but not quite as robust as duck so it’s a good middle ground if you’re on the fence about trying something slightly out of the norm. This was paired with Land Trust Trail Ale (love the name!) from Old Black Bear Brewing Company, which we enjoyed alongside the quail and stuffing.
Personally, I think the third course was my favorite: wood fired oyster mushrooms from Southern Foothills Farm located in Oneonta and Brussels sprouts with bacon marmalade. This was a large portion of veggies, which excited us more than it should. On occasion, we’ve been known to just eat veggies for dinner. I feel like Brussels sprouts are the new avocado- they’re everywhere! Moustache Red from Salty Nut Brewery was paired with this course which had a beautiful color to it and really complemented the vegetables.
“Life is short, eat dessert first.” How can we make this a thing? I know, I know, there’s also the saying “good things come to those who wait” and oh boy the pumpkin creme brulee was phenomenal and well worth the wait. The rich, creamy, pumpkin custard with the crunchy caramelized sugar top was the perfect way to end this autumn-themed dinner. If Whole Foods sold this dessert in their store, I would totally buy it. No dessert would have been complete without the perfect beer pairing, and Stout at the Devil from Straight to Ale was an excellent choice. We’ve had this beer several times before, so I knew it would pair great with the creme brulee. I loved overhearing people at our table talk about how unique this beer was and how they had no idea a beer could taste so much like a dessert. You can distinctly taste the caramel and coffee notes. Straight to Ale did a wonderful job with this beer.
We want to extend a huge thank you to Whole Foods for having us. This was a wonderfully planned event, and we highly suggest you jump on getting tickets the next time they have a dinner like this.