Last night I went to the Brooklyn Brewery Beer Tasting at Morton's Steak House. I have to say that I was disappointed in how poorly organized it was. Given that it cost $45 per person and was, I presumed, being at least partially sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery I expected more.
I have been to sponsored beer tastings before, some by Brooklyn Brewery, and generally you are seated at tables. The beer and whatever the accompanying food is served to you and a representative of the brewery then tells you a bit about the beer, what foods it pairs well with, and why it was paired with whatever it is you are now eating.
Well, this was nothing like that. You checked in and got six tickets, one for each of five beer/appetizer pairings and one that could be used anywhere. There were straight-back chairs along part of one wall and then serving stations for each beer/appetizer pairing with, depending on the specific beer/appetizer were either non-existent or quite long. The lines that were not there were in front of serving stations that had ran out of the appetizer, something that happened quite frequently during the evening.
Quite A Crowd
Just Hanging Around
I went to get a Sorachi Ace and they were out of whatever appetizer it was to be paired with. When I asked the guy at the next station if I could have one of his raw oysters he said no, only if I got a Brooklyn Pilsner Ale to go with it. Strange, I thought. Then I asked the Sorachi Ace guy why he was out and he said people grabbed more than one. I asked him why he let them and he said he was hired to be a waiter, not a bouncer. Go figure.
The most popular pairing was the Brooklyn Lager and a nice little roast beef sandwich. Great beef, perfectly done, and a fresh bun. The only problem was that they kept running out of beef. Then they ran out of buns and that was the end of that.
The station next to the Brooklyn Lager/Roast Beef Sandwich featured Brooklyn Brown Ale and little grilled lamb chops. Very good. So good that I saw one guy scarf down eight of them. Who knows how many he had when I wasn't looking. He seemed to be semi-permanently parked in front of the station.
Lost In The Crowd
The dessert station featured Black Chocolate Stout and a nice large chocolate candy. The Black Chocolate Stout does have such a distinctly chocolate flavor. Kind of like drinking a cold, bubbly cup of cocoa. Kind of.
Okay, my major complaints. The station concept doesn't work, not when you have paid $45. The stations were poorly run with some running out of food because people were taking more than one appetizer and others not letting you have an appetizer because you aren't drinking the specific beer that it was paired with. I didn't like the plastic glasses they gave you and the amount of beer that was poured into it seem to vary depending upon the whim of the server. Some pours filled the glass, some barely filled half. And there didn't seem to be any representative from Brooklyn Brewery to discuss the beers.
Okay, still kind of worth going to, but not really. Figuring a pint of the beers I was tasting probably sell for $6 each and I had six small little glasses, I could have bought a pint of each of the five beers at the sampling for $30. That would have left me $15 to buy something to eat somewhere. Not at Morton's, but somewhere.
By the way, I do like the bar at Morton's and liked having dinner at the one here in Brooklyn. I was disappointed that it closed. They always seemed to do a decent business and had a good happy hour crowd.