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Chef Brewer Battle Social

When: Wednesday, April 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. 
Where: Jimmy LaPanza Lounge, The Portsmouth Brewery, 56 Market St., Portsmouth
Tickets: $40. Advance purchase recommended at portsmouthbrewery.com




Friendly competition
Chefs and brewers team up to create unique pairings

04/02/15
By Allie Ginwala aginwala@hippopress.com



The Portsmouth Brewery is serving up a unique culinary crossover on Wednesday, April 8, with chefs in the brewery and brewers in the kitchen. During the Chef Brewer Battle Social, four teams of one chef and one brewer will combine their skills to develop a beer and create a unique dish to pair with it.

The teams, which were selected by drawing names out of a hat, are Portsmouth Brewery executive chef Jonathan Hebert and head brewer Matt Gallagher, executive sous chef Desmond Smith and brewer Kieran Callahan, and executive sous chef Steve Shaw and brewer Maxine Munsey. The final and only intentionally paired team is Kevin Hahn, executive chef at Smuttynose’s new Hayseed Restaurant, and Charlie Ireland, Smuttlabs head brewer.
“We present our dish with the brew, and then the public picks the best match pairing for the night,” Hebert said in a phone interview. “This year we put together a judges panel so [there is] both people’s choice and judges’ choice.”
“It’s not every day we get to step out of the kitchen and go brew beer with those guys,” Hebert said. 
Working in the brewery isn’t too different than the kitchen, as a lot of the same techniques come into play, he said. 
“You kind of have an idea of what flavors go with what; it’s very similar to cooking,” he said. “A little bit more of the baking side, you have to be more precise, adding flavor profiles and layering flavors, adding flavors at different stages to come through at different times. It’s very fun.”
With no theme or competition requirements, the chefs and brewers are given the chance to “show off their culinary [muscles] in the kitchen,” Hebert said. “It’s like just showing off completely, like whose mind is the craziest.” 
He and Gallagher came up with a “crazy stout” called the Breakfast of Champions. 
On the night of the beer social, guests will gather in the Jimmy LaPanza Lounge to sample each team’s dish and beer, mingle and chat, and choose their favorite for the people’s choice. 
“We call them socials in the lounge,” Hebert said. “[The] idea is to mingle and talk and we feed them and give them beer.”
The teams will also explain the thought process behind why they chose to pair certain beer and food and give guests the chance to ask any questions they may have. 
“A lot of beer and food go together,” Hebert said, such as heavy, spicy foods with hoppy IPAs and heavier meats and fatty foods with stouts. 
Currently, the Chef Brewer Battle Social creations are a one-time thing, but whisperings of brewing a larger batch of the winning beer have been circulating. 
“Hopefully my beer wins so we can scale that up,” Hebert said. 
 
As seen in the April 2, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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