If you love craft beer, you must come have dinner with us! The 2017 events will be a tremendous treat. The original weekend event was suggested by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and much ado has been made of them by our guests. The celebrity beer pairing dinners show off the ultimate flexibility of beer with food.
As varied as the Calibration Dinner is consistent, the Traditional Brewmasters’ Dinner is hosted by different celebrated brewmasters each year, showcasing their portfolios of fantastic beer. Two brewmasters are invited to be the Big Beers Featured Brewmasters annually, to co-host this amazing dinner and to offer an educational seminar on a topic of their choosing. All Big Beers dinners feature one beer from each brewery for each course, resulting in a “double-beer pairing” dinner of elevated culinary complexity and commentary by both hosts throughout the evening.
The 2017 culinary host of the Traditional Brewmasters’ Dinner is Quandary Grille in Main Street Station on Maggie’s Pond in Breckenridge. Quandary Grille is part of All Events & Catering, with other sister restaurants locally. Corporate Chef Dan Hoyle has enlisted other chefs from the AEC family and will be collaborating with Brewers Association Executive Chef Adam Dulye for the dinner as well.
This year our Featured Brewmasters are Phil Leinhart, Brewmaster for Brewery Ommegang and Florian Kuplent, Co-Owner/Brewmaster at Urban Chestnut Brewing Company. We are always pleased to welcome our colleagues, and sincerely thank them for making the trip to join us.
Julia Herz, Brewers Association Craft Beer Program Director, will be the Master of Ceremonies for this event, leading the discussion between courses and visiting with chefs and brewmasters in turn.
Phil Leinhart, Brewmaster of Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY
The Ommegang mashstaff belongs to Phil Leinhart, who came to Brewery Ommegang to be Director of Production in January 2007. Early in 2008, Phil took on the office and responsibilities of Ommegang Brewmaster.
Phil has been in the brewing industry for over twenty-five years, and has worked in and studied brewing in England and Germany, as well as in the US. Phil arrived at Ommegang in January 2007 to manage the rapid increase in brewing capacity and to oversee installation of new packaging and brewhouse equipment.
Since then he has overseen record-breaking brewing production each year, several brewhouse and cellar capacity expansions and improvements, the ongoing refinement of Ommegang’s core beers as well as the introduction of Biere De Mars, Ommegeddon, Gnomegang, and Biere D’Hougoumont; the seasonal lineup: Glimmerglass, Fleur de Houblon, Scythe & Sickle, and Adoration; the Brewmaster’s Obsession Series; and the Game of Thrones-inspired series of beers in collaboration with HBO.
Leinhart’s extensive brewing experience started with The Manhattan Brewing Co., one of the first brewpubs in the country, as well as working for Commonwealth Brewing and Harpoon Brewing in Boston, and The Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Prior to Ommegang, he gained extensive experience at Anheuser-Busch as a supervisor in Brewing and Quality Assurance and Maintenance, as well as being part of a team that programmed and implemented a Siemen’s Re-control of the Fermentation and Lagering Departments.
In September 2008, Phil became the second Ommegang brewmaster honored by being inducted into the Knighthood of Brewers Mashstaff, by the Belgian Brewers Guild in Brussels, Belgium.
Florian Kuplent, Brewmaster, Urban Chestnut Brewing
Brewmaster Florian Kuplent brings nearly two decades of artisan brewing experience to Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. From serving as a brewer’s apprentice in a small German brewery to developing award-winning beer recipes for one of the world’s largest brewers, Florian now shares his distinctive brewing creations with the craft beer enthusiasts of St. Louis from the brewhouse of his start-up brewery, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company.
At UCBC, Florian makes use of a unique brewing philosophy UCBC refers to as Beer Divergency—a ‘new world meets old world’ brewing approach wherein UCBC contributes to the “revolution” of craft beer through creations of artisanal, modern American beers, and pays “reverence” to the heritage of beer with offerings of classically-crafted, timeless European beer styles. This philosophy is also utilized at the Urban Chestnut Hallertauer Brauerei located in Wolnzach, Bavaria, where timeless regional styles are brewed alongside modern styles.
Now that you are familiar with this year’s Hosts, here’s an overview of the Dinners themselves: The format of the Big Beers Festival Brewmasters’ Dinners is rather unique. They are “double” beer pairings in the full sense of the term. The chef for each dinner is challenged to design a menu around the creations that the Brewmasters offer. Each course features one beer from each brewery, therefore considerably more difficult than a single pairing for each. And Chef is pairing five courses for each dinner, which makes for an incredible beer adventure as well!
This year our Featured Brewmasters have agreed to follow the historical precedent of donating product and assisting us with our special event, and it has made it possible to keep the cost of dinner to our guests quite reasonable. You can Purchase Tickets online. Should an event be sold out, a waiting list will be kept by the coordinator, and you can contact us directly. Cancellations are fully refundable, providing that we can rebook your seat. (Thus, refunds will only be issued after the replacement reservation has been paid in full.)
For historical Brewmasters’ Dinner information, check out Dinner Menu Archives. All previous Brewmasters’ Dinner menus are available, as well as Marty Jones’ review of our first Brewmasters’ Dinner.