My Friendsgiving "Project 12" Beer Pairing

Tasting Budweiser's Project 12 Unreleased Limited Batch.
Pairing with delicious dishes and picking a favorite!

This past weekend, I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Budweiser. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating. Check the out all the brewing action here on Budweiser's Tumblr. I seized this fabulous opportunity to host a casual little friends-giving for a few of my closest and to just indulge a little. 

The night would consist of amazing food paired and made with beer. I created four out of the six menu items, the other two were made by the lovely Melanie Flynn of the new-American restaurant, the Riverhead Project. She made a fantastic dip and dessert to compliment my beer, bar-food inspired menu.  I used the Budweiser Project 12 beer in my dishes and paired the limited batch with each dish. Only one beer could be the best, and we made the decision, after eating, drinking, and discussing.  Of course the food was a hit as well so for a closer look at all these recipes stay tuned for my Sunday the 8th post where you can find out all the specifics on these tasty holiday goodies!

 | the menu |

| kept the coffee table spread simple |

| 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 courses. |

| cheers to the years and trying new beers |

First Beer:
N o r t h   P a c i f i c   L a g e r

paired with

Beer-Cooked Pigs in a Blanket
Spinach Artichoke Dip with flatbread crackers
French Onion Stuffed Mushrooms

This was probably the the crowd favorite, although I won't jump the gun here. My friends and I would describe this one as: zesty, citrus, hoppy, and bright with a light flavor. There was a slight bitterness that you could pick up with the taste of the hops, but it was not as pungent as an IPA. It was delicious and would be a great summer beer.  

I felt the light hoppy flavor complimented all three appetizers well, but I think it went best with my french onion stuffed mushrooms.  Although it could be argued that a beer like this, with its hints of a summer on the ocean, goes best with the beer-cooked pigs in a blanket, I still preferred the pairing with the mushrooms.   
| BEGINS: Wheat | MIDDLE: Citrus | END: Hops | 

| beer-cooked pigs, kept warm with croissant blankets. |

| Mel's best ever spin-art dip  |

| my awesome french onion stuffed mushrooms |

Second Beer:
V a n i l l a  B o u r b o n  C a s k 

paired with 

Espresso, Vanilla and Beer rubbed Steak
topped with a 
Vanilla, Beer Gorgonzola Cream and Fresh Chives. 

The Vanilla Bourbon casked ale was good and seemed to be a great winter beer, but wasn't really a favorite. It left a little more to be desired and with such a name left us wanting a richer, fuller flavor and less watered down. It was good, but for something like this I expected to have a deeper, more oaky flavor to it. I do feel this would be a great choice for someone who thinks bourbon or rye cask beers are too potent, as this one could open the door to trying others of the same type. We described it as: light, sweet, vanilla, and slightly smokey.  

This beer paired in fantastic style with the steak,  probably because it was soaked in the Vanilla Bourbon before being dipped in the rub and tossed on the grill, along with whipping the beer right into the gorgonzola cream. The vanilla and the saltiness of the gorgonzola was a match made in heaven.

| BEGINS: Vanilla | MID: the Actual Beer Taste | ENDS: Bourbon |

Third Beer:
B e e c h w o o d  B o c h

paired with

The Bacon, Balsamic Mushroom, and Goat Cheese Salad 
with Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, and Orange Segments

Caramel Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream

The Beechwood Boch was surprisingly good, as I did not know what to expect. It actually gave us the richer palate that we were searching for from the Vanilla Bourbon.  We described this one as: smokey, chocolate, not too sweet, malt, earthy with caramel notes. I found it very similar to a red ale or an English Ale.  

In our house, like good little Italians, we eat salad second to last, right before dessert.  It just worked out that the Beechwood Boch paired well with both.  The Boch finished well and the flavor was magnified with the salad greens.  It's smokey, woody flavors were brought out by the caramel and apple spice flavors of dessert.

| BEGINS: Chocolate  | MID: Woody | ENDS: Caramel |

| even pimps eat salad this good. |

| bacon, balsamic mushrooms, tomatoes, goat cheese, segmented oranges & basil over spinach |

| Mel's amazing caramel apple crisp. |

 | the notes were compiled and the results are in. |

The More Favored BEER was:


  1. Omg, what a fun party you threw and you had some great combinations =) The Beechwood Bock was definitely my favorite of the three =)

  2. That steak looks fabulous! Oh and puppy in the bottom pick is adorable :)

  3. Such lovely pictures!!! Thanks for sharing:)
    Thanks for sharing:)

  4. Great post! This looks super fun and yummy :)

  5. Good night! Good beer, great food, amazing company. :)

  6. seemd like lots of fun ..nice...

  7. The lay out is so cute! i love the table. and wow my boyfriend would love this post about beer and foodhaha. looks so delicious, wish i was there!! haha.

    Happy thanksgiving to you ;)


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