Nogne O event at Beer Bistro

1 May

Nogne O event at Beer Bistro

Beer Bistro, at King & Yonge, hosted a beer tasting and food pairing event that featured the creations of Nogne O, a Norwegian brewery (and, to my surprise, a sake distiller!).  S and I have long been fans of their Tiger Tripel, which always seems to be available only in limited quantities at the LCBO, so when the $40 tickets went on sale, we were quick to nab a pair.  Tucked away in Beer Bistro’s private back room, the cocktail party styled evening allowed the 40 participants to mingle and chat with Kjetil Jikiun, Nogne O’s affable and bespectacled brewmaster.   Eight (of Nogne O’s 30 or so different brews at any given time) were featured along with Beer Bistro’s appetizers.

In one word?  Deeeelish.

In several more words?  We were welcomed with a glass of Nogne O’s Junmai Sake (16%).  It was clean tasting, had hint of ripe fruit, refreshing with medium umami.  One of my and S’s favourites of the evening.

Next was their oatmeal stout, Haverstout (4.5%), served alongside a fresh shucked oyster.  While I have to say it was an excellent pairing, the Haverstout was, for me, a touch too fleeting in flavour and probably not something I’d think to order.

The Nogne O Saison (6.5%) came next with shrimp ceviche.  Although the ceviche was delicious on its own, as a pairing they probably should’ve substituted the overpowering jalapeno with pineapple or mango to compliment the (again) fleeting fruitiness of their Saison.

Citrus Hystrix IPA (7.5%) was one of S’s favourites of the night (as was the accompanying butter chicken).  It had more of a full mouth feel than the previous beers and my initial reminders of mandarin oranges were validated when Kjetil told us they added tangerine juice at the end of the process.

Imperial Brown Ale (7.5%) was hard tasty yet difficult to gauge since I’m not familiar with brown ales in general.  BUT OH MY GOD THE ACCOMPANYING MINI PULLED PORK SANDWICH WAS AMAZING.  Perfect fresh bun with the perfect chewiness, sweet and smokey pork, sharp aged cheddar and cooling refreshing coleslaw.  SIGN ME UP, BEER BISTRO.

Then came one of my favourite beers of the evening, the Sour Brown (5%), served with cheese fondue stuffed cherry tomato.  Their sour brown was limited edition (wail!) and the flavours animated through your mouth as you consumed it.  I’ve become quite intrigued by sour beers as of late and this one did not disappoint.

The India Saison (7.5%) was very interesting.  Made with purely Australian hops, it had (to me) strong pine flavours with a fruity background.  I wasn’t sold at first but then near the end of my sample I was wishing I had a bit more.  This was paired with mini kobe beef tacos and let’s just say, an evening of smiling politely at the server meant we were sneaked an extra one each!

Then came their #100 (10%) which, I’ll be honest, was good I think?  I was drunk at this point.  It was served with the a buttery flakey stilton shortbread.

And last, but not least, their Imperial Stout (9%).  I’m not a big stout fan in general (and I was drunk) but I remember a clean finish and a delicious vanilla bean chocolate truffle.

I really enjoyed having the brewmaster introduce each beer and Beer Bistro did an excellent job of pairing the beers with appetizer sized foods.  Funnily enough, my biggest take-away from the evening was to look up their sake!

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