|Nancy, Larry and Ron enjoy a beer moment|
And the quick answer is, "No. We cannot."
This dinner was intended to serve a few purposes for Scott Van Guilder and his Office crew. First, it was kind of a "Shakedown Cruise" where you take a new ship out on the ocean to see what--if any--problems pop up. Second, it was designed to make beer and food lovers in The Office's immediate "catchment" area aware of the might array of craft beer here and the quality of The Office's food.
|Natalie and Rob raise a toast|
When it comes to beer dinners,"Firsties," (a term coined by The PubScout) are always interesting and in many ways, enlightening. They usually start off with a small, intimate group of beer and food lovers, and when the post-dinner word goes out about the menu, the beers, the service, the camaraderie and the good times, the number of attendees grows for future events. Another local chain that tried this formula had just seven guests for its firstie, but after doing three dinners in a year, that number blossomed to forty regulars. The lesson? If you host them regularly, they will come.
|Different generations enjoy Beer Dinners|
|What's left of dessert...|
Special, however, is one thing. Portions are another. There was a goodly amount of food carried out in "doggie bags" (though they look nothing like 'bags' to me) by sated attendees last night. The rib that appeared on my plate was seemingly from a Triceratops.
And I heard "This is the best pairing of the night!" spoken about at least three of the five courses. The Ale and Cheese Soup (which worked, interestingly, with the first two beers), the Ahi Tuna and Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA and the chocolate dessert paired with Sam Adams Merry Maker received glowing assessments. Personally, I enjoyed the Dark Depths Baltic Porter and the ribs the most.
|The Merry Maker--non-beer version...|
Good food, good beer and good company usually make for a great night, and the camaraderie generated around the table was positive
--especially during Trivia Time, where in a twist, everyone got to read some questions to stump the long table. Larry continued his personal study of dry-hopping, Nancy was fixated on what a beer's head meant and Natalie lined up her glasses OCD style.
I'd say the Shakedown Cruise went pretty well, considering that $60 covered the dinner, the beers, the tax and the tip. And Scott threw in a delightful "palate cleanser" that wasn't on the menu free of charge. Its identity, however, has to remain a closely-guarded secret.
The laughs and the lip-smacking were free, too.
So when's the next one?