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A Tale of Two Tastings – Hills Market and Tip Top

Posted by CMH Gourmand on April 21, 2008

Hills Market had a British Beer and Cheese tasting on April 17th. The turnout was smaller than I expected, only eight souls, but we had a fabulous time. Kent Rand walked us through the cheeses and Constance Begue covered the background of the beers we sampled. Kent did a wonderful job creating appetizers to complement the beer and cheeses.

This is what we sampled:

All the beers were Ales.

Beer: Smithwick’s Irish Ale (Ireland)
Cheese: Blarney Castle (Ireland – semi-soft, park skim milk)
Appetizer: Melon balls wrapped with Blarney castle cheese and a dusting of pistachio nuts

Beer: Samuel Smith Organically Produced Ale (England)
Cheese: Cotswold (England – semi firm cheddar)
Appetizer: Flour tortilla with mayo, spinach, Cotswold cheese, roasted red pepper and grilled chicken breast

Beer: St. Peter’s Golden Ale (Wales)
Cheese: Red Dragon (England – Cheddar blended with toasted mustard seed and a bit of ale)
Appetizer: Brioche with mesclun, red dragon cheese, roast beef and a drizzle of horseradish

Beer: Black Douglas Ale (Ireland)
Cheese: Dubliner (Ireland – aged semi-firm)
Appetizer: endive leaf wrapped with ripe pear, Dubliner cheese, thyme, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper

Beer: Fuller’s Extra Strong Bitter (England)
Cheese: Stinking Bishop (England – soft English stinky cheese)
Appetizer: a wafer-sized slice of fig almond cake with Stinking Bishop cheese and dried cranberries

Beer: Kelpie Seaweed Ale (Scotland)
Cheese: Shropshire Blue (England – aged Stilton)
Appetizer: baby portabella mushroom caps stuffed with Shropshire Blue cheese, tomato bruschetta and Panko bread crumbs

This is what you missed, make sure to give at least one of the Hills tastings a try in the future.

May 29, 2008 – Wines & Cheese from Spain 6.30 p.m.

June 26, 2008 – Wines & Cheeses from Greece 6.30 p.m.

July 24, 2008 – Wines & Cheeses from Italy 6.30 p.m.

August 21, 2008 – Wines & Cheeses from Australia 6.30 p.m.

September 25, 2008 – Wines & Cheeses from France 6.30 p.m.

October 23, 2008 – Octoberfest: Beers & Cheeses 6.30 p.m.

Tip Top Kitchen and Cocktails partnered with the Columbus Beer Wench for the first Tip Top Drink with the Wench Beer Sampling on Sunday, April 20th from 5pm until 8pm. The sampling included beer, and generous helpings of Ohio Nachos (housemade potato chips topped with melted cheese, tomatoes, green onions, black olives, jalapenos, and sour cream), Sweet Potato Fries and Red Bean Hummus.

We sampled six different beers, three from the Tip Top menu and three candidates for new beers to update the menu. Each person had the opportunity to vote on which of the current beers should be discontinued and which of the new beers should be added to the Tip Top beer selections. Beers chosen by the group will be featured as local selections. The end result, two old beers stayed and one new beer was added.

The Columbus Beer Wench coordinated the pours and poured on the commentary with a touch of charm. Tim Lessner, co-owner kept the food coming and added some Surly Girl insight. Andy Wuelfling from Premium Beverage Supply gave us insider information on each of the beers and clarified that in the industry – there are two schools of thought on just about anything so the end result is essentially – if you like it, it is good.

Here is what we tried.
Southern Tier – HopSun (my favorite)
Lagunitas – The Censored – (formerly Chronic) Cooper Ale

Flying Dog – Old Scratch Amber Lager
Flying Dog – Garde Dog (Biere de Garde)
Southern Tier – Phin and Matt’s (the owners) extraordinary ale
Ft. Collins Brewery – Retro Red

The bolded selections were the winners.

So – as I often say, if you can not find something to do in Columbus – you are not looking.

2 Responses to “A Tale of Two Tastings – Hills Market and Tip Top”

  1. Anna said

    Any idea what’s in the sauce that comes with the sweet potato fries at Tip Top? Aron loves it and, I think, would divorce me so he could marry the sauce. Of course, then he would have no wife because he would end up eating her.

  2. […] CMH Gourmand […]

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