Last night’s Deschutes Brewery and Twin Kiss Creamery ice cream social at Market Cross Pub in Carlisle, PA had to be one of the more creative and delicious pairing events I’ve ever attended. It was so refreshing to attend a pairing that didn’t include the usual slab of beef paired with a porter. Or the bowl of New England clam chowder served with a pale ale. Both of which are good choices – I was just craving something different and something sweet. The flight night included two of my favorites: beer and ice cream. Putting them together was genius. What a great way to launch Deschutes beers here in Central PA and celebrate Market Cross’ 20th anniversary.
The head chef that oversees the Deschutes Brew Pubs in Oregon worked with a local creamery in Shermansdale, PA called Twin Kiss Creamery. Brian & Jamie Brunner (creamery owners) did a great job with the final ice cream creations. I mean, bacon in peanut butter ice cream! This combo totally had me salivating when I viewed the teaser photo posted on their Facebook page last week.
To make this even more fun, my friend Phil who lives in Oregon joined in on the tasting via Tumblr (http://dzyngrl.tumblr.com/). As I would post photos and my thoughts on the beer, he and his wife tasted the same beers and replied with their take on the experience. It was great to interact in real-time even though they were miles away. Although I feel bad that they didn’t get to try the decadent ice cream!
Deschutes Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale with Twin Kiss Cinnamon Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream
I dove right in, taking a bite of the decadent ice cream and then sipping the beer so it all just melded together in my mouth. I loved the ice cream’s spicy notes of cinnamon and nutmeg combined with the creamy chunks of real pumpkin cheesecake with the citrus accents in the pale ale. This gave me an idea. I’m seriously thinking about serving pumpkin cheesecake dusted with cinnamon along with a glass of this seasonal pale ale for dessert at my next Thanksgiving dinner. I guess I better hurry and stock up before Deschutes Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale gone until next year.
Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale with Twin Kiss Chocolate Cherry Cordial
The bitterness of the dark chocolate chunks and the cherry cordial pieces in the ice cream complimented this malty, almost-nutty, beer nicely. For me, the maltiness of the Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale was kind of the equivalent of putting a pretzel right on top of my ice cream. Oh, how I love pretzels with ice cream. Great flavor combination.
My friend Phil added via Tumblr:
“I love the smell of this beer, a strong, honest beer smell that tells me I know what I’m getting. I was thinking cheese would be a natural match. My wife Erica suggested pizza or possibly a very caramelly ice cream, and she liked this beer the best.”
Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA with Twin Kiss Bananas Foster Ice Cream
The snappy Cascade and Citra hops were both fabulous and prominent with this beer that’s brewed with wheat and pilsner malt. Definitely my favorite beer in the flight. I tend to have a preference for Citra. I can’t seem to get enough of it. The candied pecans in the flavorful bananas foster ice cream were the perfect counterpart to the hoppy Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA. Hoppy yet sweet. Sort of transformed the combo into an imperial IPA taste.
Deschutes Black Butte Porter with Twin Kiss Peanut Butter Honey Ice Cream
They saved the best pairing for last. My goodness the smoky porter and the equally smoky bacon pieces in the honey swirled, peanut butter ice cream were incredible. And let’s face it. Anything with peanut butter is the bomb. This pairing lived up to its hype on Twin Kiss Creamery’s Facebook page! I’m generally not a fan of smoky beers but Deschutes Black Butte Porter was smooth and easy to drink. Not at all overpowering like some smoked porters can be.
AFTER THE PAIRING EVENT
I was able to chat with the folks from Deschutes and Market Cross Pub once the tasting was finished. I really appreciated the fact that Deschutes sent folks from the Oregon brewery to represent their beer during this Central PA launch. That meant a lot. We aren’t just another market to conquer.
Ironically, Erik Frank (Field Marketing Manager at Deschutes), used to live in the Harrisburg area back in the mid ‘90s. We reminisced about how we both came to know and love craft beers right there at the Market Cross Pub when Jeff Goss opened up the place in Carlisle 20 years ago. We joked that Jeff got us hooked on “good beer” and we’ve been fans ever since.
Jeff’s daughter Ashleigh now helps in overseeing the establishment. She is a self-proclaimed Beer Geek, like me, and does a great job organizing multiple events each month at the Pub. I look forward to more events like this one.
RANDOM HIGHLIGHTS & FACTOIDS FROM THE EVENT
- Market Cross Pub has their own Red Sour Ale on tap specially brewed for their 20th anniversary. I love fresh sour beer! Another trend that’s starting to be seen in the craft beer industry at the moment.
- I didn’t realize Deschutes first opened as the Bond Street Public House, a restaurant that brewed their own beer before becoming what is known today as the Deschutes Brewery.
- Is Deschutes going to build a brewery on the East Coast any time soon? Erik Frank said it’s not currently in the works. But if a sustained demand continues for their beer after this launch, it could very well be a possibility in the future.
- “Craft beer is the New American Dream”, noted Erik Frank. There has been so much growth in the industry even with the hard economic times. Beer is profitable. And home brewers turned professional brewers are able to live that dream.Craft beer also creates jobs all across the nation. Hop farms are popping up. Artists who create the packaging and signage. Homebrew stores that sells supplies. Retailers and distributors who sell the beer. And the list goes on and on. Long live craft beer!
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