Recap: Grapevine Craft Brewery dinner at Cook Hall




It’s Grapevine Craft Brewery’s motto when it comes to its beer. I’d like to add refreshing. And flavorful. But I suppose we can get to that.

The Hatch was at Cook Hall, a sleek, charming gastropub at the W Hotel Friday evening, enjoying a five-course beer dinner hosted by Grapevine Craft Brewery. It was a fairly intimate setting, with about 25 dinner guests seated at two long communal tables sharing small talk and good food. And beer. There was plenty of beer.

Founder and owner Gary Humble said he got into craft brewing with the goal of making good beer that would go well with a Texas Barbeque. I have no doubt his beer would taste great with a burger on a hot day, but on this night, the brew more than held its own with a more sophisticated menu.

Cook Hall Executive Chef Nick Jimenez was in charge of the food and making sure each dinner course was perfectly complimented with the right beer. His food was outstanding, and his eye for pairing was right on the money.

We began the evening with a Monarch Classic American Wheat Ale served with Pork Rillette and toast. The Monarch was the lightest beer we tried and complimented the slightly heavier pork well, though the Rillette was a little dry for my taste.

The Lakefire Rye Pale Ale was my favorite beer. A little spicy, with a subtle fruit aroma, the Pale Ale went down smoothly with roasted organic chicken and fresh vegetables.

On the food side, the roasted venison with horseradish spaetzle and poached pear stole the show. Tender, juicy and soaked in flavor, the venison was the best thing I ate all night. We washed it down with the Ten Gauge Belgian IPA, which was pleasantly dry and appropriately hoppy

We finished the evening with a Sir Williams Brown Ale, which had a subtle hint of chocolate, served with an apple and pecan sticky bun topped with brown butter ice cream. It was every bit as delicious as it sounds.