When William Shakespeare put forth that “a quart of ale is a meal for a king,” he never could have envisioned the Brewmaster’s Dinner at Snowbasin Resort. If Shakespeare’s ale, the watery unhopped, fermented malt drink, which he may have consumed with a lunch of bacon-flavored pottage and buttered loaves, seemed royalty-worthy, then he certainly would have written a masterpiece dedicated to the pairings from Uinta Brewing and Chef Eric Byrd. “Hail to these kings!” he might have said. He mighteth?
On a recent January night, the beer was flowing and the dishes were delicious at Snowbasin for the second annual Brewmaster’s Dinner. The setting was grand, in the spacious hall in Earl’s Lodge, located at the resort base. Long tables are set family style, making for a jolly setting fitting to discuss each course and toast with your neighbors.
The meal started with a buffet of appetizers of meatballs and chips and salsa. While the bites were tasty, the slow line of 200-plus people was a kink they need to work out in the future. Luckily it was not indicative of the flow or quality of the rest of the meal. The beer paired with this was interesting. “Tinder” is a rauchbier or smoked beer and while it was fun to try, I didn’t want a whole glass. One guy said, ‘It’s like drinking a campfire!”
The first course was breaded goat cheese atop sautéed kale, bacon and onions with a pomegranate reduction, paired with Uinta’s Hop Notch IPA. The crisp hop flavors of the beer complemented the creamy cheese and richness of the reduction.
Next up, a butter leaf salad with a huge slab of roasted golden beet, drizzled with a pea puree and a light buttermilk dressing, was a welcome light build-up to the heavy main course, and paired great with the Hazel Amber Wheat ale. (Diners were offered salad or butternut squash soup paired with Dubhe Imperial Black IPA, which is stellar.)
The entrée was refined comfort food, satisfying on a cold winter’s night. Chef Byrd prepared a braised short rib—good choice for a large crowd—with black truffle mashed potatoes. I could have chugged the au jus from a tankard, but the glass of Bristlecone brown ale was a quenching alternative.
By the way, each “tasting” of beer was a full pint, a generous bounty of beer. I'm sure old Will would have approved of the portions--and been really, really full. For those unfamiliar with Uinta's beers and the dining at Snowbasin, the evening was a great introduction. Put this event on your calendar for next year!
Until then, prepare your taste buds for the resort’s next dinner: The 1st Annual Tequila Fiesta on March 21st. Don Julio tequilas will be paired with bites at live culinary action stations. Reservations are Mandatory, 801-620-1021. $65 Per Person.
There is no lodging at the base of the resort. Designate a driver to get you home or to a motel. Make a weekend of it and ski Snowbasin’s Olympic quality runs and untouched powder bowls.
Lakeside Resort Properties
Condominiums located 10 minutes from resort. Hot tubs, kitchens, in-room massage, catering, full concierge services, wifi, exercise room, Egyptian cotton linens. $109-$339/night. lakesideresortproperties.com
Jackson Fork Inn
Fine lodging in an historic dairy barn also located 10 minutes from resort. Friendly service, clean rooms. The décor is outdated but it’s a comfortable budget option. $90-$170/night. www.jacksonforkinn.com