Supercharged beer dinners • Craft Beer Restaurant


Beer-food pairing dinners are a popular feature in better restaurants today. You know the type — flavorful craft beers paired with four or five food courses and pre-sold as a packaged event. They're fun, easy to do, and profitable.

But there are beer dinners and then there are BEER dinners. The supercharged BEER dinner is one that not only pairs the beer with an appropriate dish, but also includes beer as an ingredient in the dish. Using beer as an ingredient truly elevates the pairing dinner to a whole new level. It also challenges the chef to think more deeply and creatively when creating the menu. The results generally speak for themselves.

One example of the supercharged variety is a beer dinner put on by Portobello Restaurant at Downtown Disney in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on February 22, 2012.

Portobello is a country-style trattoria celebrating the simple flavors of Italy: crusty breads, sun-ripened tomatoes, house-cured meats, fresh seafood, imported Prosciutto, fruity olive oils, and sharp, pungent cheeses.

For the beer they worked with Orlando Brewing Company, a local certified organic brewery. Orlando Brewing focuses on fresh-style craft beers in a range of popular ale styles.

To make the dinner even more special, Portobello's Executive Chef Steven Richard teamed up with visiting Spiaggia (Chicago) celebrity chefs Tony Mantuano and Sarah Grueneberg to create a beautiful four-course, menu with perfectly paired brews.


Food: Salumi, forage, crostini, and farmer's market pickled vegetables

Beer: Orlando Brewing Hefe-Weizen


Food: Drunken Gnocchi—Guanciale, caramelized onion, tomato, deglazed with Orlando Brewing Organic Red Ale

Beer: Orlando Brewing Organic Red Ale


Food: Braised short rib, slow cooked with Orlando Brewing Eagle Stout, served over polenta

Beer: Orlando Brewing Eagle Stout


Food: Biramisu—Portobello's version of tiramisu made with Orlando Brewing Blackwater Dry Porter

Beer: Orlando Blackwater Dry Porter

This dinner is the latest pairing event that Portobello has organized in recent years. The dinners typically sell out fast and have been a popular addition to the property's special event calendar.

Shouldn't a supercharged beer pairing dinner be on your restaurant's calendar?


Supercharging beer pairing dinners