Chocolate Covered Memories with the 11th Annual Brewer’s Plate

This past Sunday was Fair Food‘s 11th annual Brewer’s Plate, an evening full of fine local foods and craft beers. Returning to the gorgeous Kimmel Center for the second year in a row, the evening featured more than 1000 food and craft beer enthusiasts — eating, drinking, mingling and dancing on three floors on an almost-feels-like-spring evening. 

Once again between bites and sips, we set out to find the the stories behind the food industry folk who craft cuisine and brews from local goods. We asked some of The Brewer’s Plate’s chefs, bakers, brewers and owners to share their (Chocolate Covered) Memories regarding one question …

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Honoring The Brewer’s Plate’s 11th anniversary this year and since the number 11 is comprised of “1 and 1,” if you could pick your last meal, what would it be and what would you pair it with?


Barren Hill Tavern & Brewerys head brewer David Wood:  My last meal would have to be a currywurst (fried bratwurst covered in curry ketchup) and a Köstritzer Schwarzbier to wash it down. I would die with a full belly and a smile on my face! That is the way I would like to go out!

Barren Hill Tavern's head brewer David Wood (left) (photo by Lee Porter)
Barren Hill Tavern’s head brewer David Wood (left) (photo by Lee Porter)

Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouses cheese maker Jonathan S. White:  My last meal today (and who knows, every meal could be your last, right?) was Bobolink beef salami, browned with onions, served with scrambled eggs from the back yard. I served it with a bottle of 1993 Russian Imperial Stout, a gift from my dear friend, the late Ray Deter. To you, Ray!

City Tap House-University Citys executive chef Chad Vetter:  A bacon cheeseburger (rare with American cheese) with lettuce, tomato, raw red onion, fries and ketchup, paired with a case of Coors Light. Joking. But seriously, I would still take the cheeseburger and a bomber of Boulevard’s Saison-Brett.

City Tap House's Team
City Tap House’s Team (photo by Lee Porter)

Conshohocken Brewing Co.s head brewer Andrew Horne:  My last meal would be a big greasy hamburger with bacon and guacamole. I’d pair that with a couple of ESB’s.

Di Bruno Bros.s VP Emilio Mignucci:  I would probably have my wife’s eggplant parm. This is one of my favorite dishes. I would have some kind of Belgian-style dubbel or tripel.

Dock Street Brewery:

  • owner Rosemarie Certo:  Small, sweet West Coast oysters and some Vicio Mezcal or bright and briny East Coast oysters with a Dock Street Rye IPA.
  • head brewer Vince DesRosiers:  My last meal would be a Russian Imperial Stout from my basement, and I’d pair it with my wife.
Dock Street's head brewer Vince & Marilyn
Dock Street’s head brewer Vince DesRosiers & Marilyn Candeloro (photo by Lee Porter)

Dogfish Head Craft Brewerys founder/president Sam Calagione:  It would be one each from the two competing cheesesteak places that face each other in Philly. I remember preferring the one with shaved meet more thank the one with chunks of meat, when I had one this summer after seeing Neutral Milk Hotel play the Mann Center. I would wash one down with a 2009 Dogfish/Sierra Life & Limb and the other one with a Dogfish Immort Ale. Both beers are made with maple syrup from my family farm. Immort Ale is 11 percent ABV, so on theme [with the “last meal” question].

EPIC Pickles founder/pickler Rob Seufert:  It would probably depend on the time of year ­ and who’s cooking! In the winter: crab soup, Caesar salad with anchovies, 8-ounce filet with garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus, Stage Deli New York cheesecake and a Cartlidge & Browne Merlot. In the spring: oysters, crawfish boil and an Abita Beer. In the summer: steamed crabs, corn on the cob and a Natty Boh. In the fall: fried pickles, suicide wings, celery and blue cheese with a Miller Lite.

EPIC Pickles
EPIC Pickles (photo by Lee Porter)

Fair Food Farmstands project manager Alex Jones:  My last meal would be a decadent baked macaroni and cheese, and it would be paired with (so inappropriately) a Barr Hill gin & tonic. Two of my favorite things!

The Farm at Doe Run:

  • Cheese Maker Samuel Kennedy:  For my last meal, I would request one of my favorite dinners from my childhood. My father’s sauerbraten with braised red cabbage and cheesy spaetzle. To pair with this meal, I would either have a Flemish sour ale, which would match all the sour notes in the food with the same intensity in the beer, or a schwarzbier style with its savory notes and dark malts. I feel either would really bring out some nice dark flavor notes in either the food or drink. As well as make for an exceptional pairing.

Free Will Brewing Companys manager Dominic Capace:  My last meal would be store-bought pasta with my mother’s homemade meatballs and tomato sauce, paired with a Free Will Pilsner and a table full of friends and family, which includes every Free Will team member, finished off with a salad (it should be at the end of the meal) and an irresponsible amount of pilsner.

The Industrys executive chef Bryan Burger:  For my last meal I would go with Maki rolls. Spider, spicy tuna with avocado and lobster tempura with eel. I would pair the meal with a Troegs Nugget Nectar.

The Industry’s Team (photo by Lee Porter)

Iron Hill Brewery-Ardmores head brewer Paul Rutherford:  My last meal would definitely be some kind of raw fish and avocado combination paired with a German Pilsner.

Iron Hill Brewery-Chestnut Hills head brewer Chris LaPierre:  I’ve been craving Indian food lately, so it might be rogan josh or chicken tikka masala and a rich malty brown ale or Belgian white, depending on my mood.

Iron Hill's Cannibal Saison & Chilled Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Chutney & Cilantro Aioli (photo by Lee Porter)
Iron Hill’s Cannibal Saison & Chilled Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Chutney & Cilantro Aioli (photo by Lee Porter)

London Grill:

  • chef/owner Michael McNally:  seared foie gras & Willie Sutton Lager (our house beer by Stoudts which I have every night after my shift)
  • owner Terry Berch McNally:  surf n’ turf platter, comprised of seared foie gras, raw oysters and grilled lobster, paired with a sour Kriek.

Misconduct Taverns executive chef Nicholas Mezzina:  My last meal would be sea scallops — the largest any diver could find, roe and all — with black rice and beurre blanc sauce. That’s what I’m feeling today. And since it would be my last meal, I’d have to go with some champagne. I know that’s not very local or beer forward, but a last meal is pretty serious!

Misconduct Tavern's Aranchini (photo by Lee Porter)
Misconduct Tavern’s Aranchini (photo by Lee Porter)

Night Kitchen Bakery & Cafes owner Amy Edelman:  My last meal would be a heart attack on a plate because at that point, who cares?! I would have very crispy chicken thighs topped with foie gras. A crisp Puligny-Montrachet would cut through the fat and clear my taste buds for dessert — The Night Kitchen’s lemon curd cake with cream cheese icing — that is the last morsel I would like to leave the earth with.

ShawneeCraft Brewing Companys head brewer Rion Spurlock: My last meal would be a plate of fish tacos paired with a really well-made Saison.

Varga Bars executive chef R. Evan Turney:  My last meal would be my wife Carla’s bad ass roasted chicken, and I would probably wash it down with a six pack or so of the Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA.

Varga Bar's Rigatoni Bolognese (photo by Lee Porter)
Varga Bar’s Rigatoni Bolognese (photo by Lee Porter)
Varga Bar's Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Trifle (photo by Lee Porter)
Varga Bar’s Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Trifle (photo by Lee Porter)

Victory Brewing Companys president/brewmaster Bill Covaleski:  Since the expiring body needs no nutrition but soul just might, as it might be moving on, I’d put Sun Ra Arkestra’s 1978 gem, Lanquidity, on at a sufficient volume to match the calming intensity of a cask-conditioned Storm King Stout and begin that journey to elsewhere. [In other words …] You’d find me munching on Midnight Moon goat gouda with rye crackers, fig paste and a cask Storm King … while listening to Sun Ra.

Weyerbacher Brewing Companys head brewer Chris Wilson:  I’d have to go with Southern comfort food — Southern style fried chicken, collard greens, fried okra and some corn bread. I’d have to pair that with Last Chance IPA. It’s a good match, and it just seems fitting. If I were going for a beer I don’t make, it would have to be a fresh Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier. That beer has a place in my Top Five all time favorite beers. I would be happy to have that beer escort me to the great unknown!

Yards Brewing Companys head brewer Tim Roberts:  An Amy Roberts’ carrot cake with a pint of Yards ESA.


Want more? Check out food/beer folks’ answers to different questions in CCM’s recaps from the last two Brewer’s Plates: 20142013. And be sure to keep Sunday evenings open in March of 2016 for the twelfth annual Brewer’s Plate …

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