Grind Time: Hitachino Beer Dinner at Lucky Belly
BY JASON GENEGABUS / firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re a craft beer fan in Honolulu with a Twitter account, make sure you’re friends with Bill Carl.
Go ahead, open another browser window and check to see if you follow Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii’s resident beer specialist.
If you don’t, mash that follow button — it will definitely pay off in the long run.
Once you’re Twitter pals, you’re golden when it comes to being in the know about the many events Carl hosts in any given month. And as a Certified Cicerone, he’s got the training necessary to tell you everything you need to know about the brewing process and more (besides himself, Carl said there is only one other Certified Cicerone in Honolulu right now).
“I love doing different events,” he said. “So many people are stuck on wine, and craft beer is really hot everywhere else but Hawaii, so we’re working on that.”
Carl arrived on Oahu in July after six and a half years on Hawaii island. On Thursday, he hosted his first event at Lucky Belly in Chinatown, partnering with Japan’s Kiuchi Brewery and sous chef Alfredo Baliba to present a five-course paired dinner featuring Hitachino Nest beer.
Here’s what was served:
Fresh Oyster on the Half Shell (Paired with Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout)
Watermelon Salad with Pickled Radish, Chèvre and Shiso Pesto (Paired with Hitachino Nest White Ale)
Tea Smoked Duck Breast with Curried Carrot Puree and Tempura Vegetables (Paired with Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Brew)
Beer-Braised Pork Belly Donburi with Egg and Pickled Fennel (Paired with Hitachino Nest Classic Ale)
Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout Ice Cream Float
Of all the courses, Lucky Belly’s beer-braised pork belly donburi was winner of the night, playing up to both Lucky Belly’s strengths in the kitchen and the complementary flavors of the Hitachino Nest Classic Ale selected to go with the dish.
Another pleasant surprise was the Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout Ice Cream Float — this beer was the perfect partner for a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, and only served to get me thinking (or was it obsessing?) about how much more awesome it would have been with gelato instead!
“Grind Time” is always looking for the latest places to get your grub on. Email Jason Genegabus with restaurant, bar or any other food/drink-related item at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.