Beer week is full of surprises. So was the case for North Coast on North Franklin at Cafe Hey Thursday night. Set against the backdrop of the cafe's open mike night, attendees took a self-guided tour of six brews from North Coast Brewery cleverly paired with signature and specialty items from Cafe Hey in Tampa.
The recommended method began with the lighter beers and progressively moved to the dark side of the palette. Food pairings ranged from soups and desserts to sandwiches and salads.
Standouts included: the Belgian golden ale PranQster (whose label covertly displays a picture of the brew master) with the cafe's Yoshimi sandwich (cream cheese, siracha, kimchi, avocado); Acme IPA with a spicy green papaya salad; Brother Thelonious Belgian style abbey ale (a nod to Thelonious Monk) paired with peanut soba noodles and tomato blue cheese soup; Rasputin Imperial Stout with the cafe's signature chocolate infused chili, ham and pickle sandwich, and chocolate bread pudding (including a chocolate sauce made with the stout and bread from La Segunda).
Many items had multiple pairings, each thoughtfully balanced by taste and tales. Participants got to keep their tasting glass and a surprising mouthful of savory memories.