R Gang Eatery’s First Beer Dinner

RGang-01Has it really been a month since I posted an article? So sorry for my lack of attention to you, the awesome readers that support my efforts. Sometimes I can get so busy doing fun stuff I forget to talk about it; I’ll try (and probably fail) to be more regular with new content for you.

RGang-3R Gang Eatery is a great little restaurant that does amazing things with limited space and an even smaller kitchen. Recently, they brought Matt Morrison on as Chef (former sues chef of The Handlery and Stone Liberty Station) and one of his first actions was to set up a tremendous beer dinner with nano brewery (now micro brewery) super star, Mike Hess Brewing. Fresh off winning a gold medal at the World Beer Cup for Habitus, Hess is hitting their stride and finally released their first canned beers. Full pints await the alumithusiast in five varieties, Jucundus, Claritas, Grazias, Habitus, and Solis #27.

On Friday, April 18th, 25 people experienced a beer pairing dinner that can only be classified as a resounding success. Having attended a ton of these type of events I can easily find flaws where others wouldn’t but I’m here to tell you, R Gang pulled off and event to be admired by those attending and resented by those that missed the opportunity. For a mere $50, attendees were treated to five courses that actually went with the beer they were paired with, something that doesn’t happen at every beer dinner. I have to say, even days later, I am totally stoked I was invited to cover the event.

RGang-6As I type this, I’m at Monkey Paw and they are playing Run to the Hills from Iron Maiden and I have to say, you better run to the next R Gang Eatery beer dinner if you know what’s good for you. The evening started with a beer cheese soup shot and the signature of R, a tot. This tot was amazing, cheddar bacon anything never fails and neither did this; especially since it was fried in duck fat, mmmm (credit to Homer Simpson). As a person that has classified themselves a non cheese eater the soup was delicious and I was fortunate enough to have 3 or 4 of them, happily. The soup was made with my favorite beer of the night, Solis Occasus #27. If you’re not familiar with the Solis series, Hess allows the brewers and staff to invent new hop combinations for every batch and this one hit the spot for me.

The evening flowed extremely well, the staff of R Gang handled the pressure to serve the guests well. I often find the kitchen chaotic during this type of event, with tension you can cut with a knife, but not this event. The staff worked and complimented each other in a way that other restaurants wish their staff was capable of.

RGang-12My favorite dishes of the night were handmade duck sausage and the roasted lamb, no way, I liked the meat dishes, how out of character for me. Seriously, Matt’s sausage was the bomb, and if you know us both you know how funny that is. I’ve known him for 20+ years and it’s really cool to see him reaching his dreams.

Other than Solis, I also really enjoyed the Ficus. Although not usually my favorite style, a well done saison with enough fruit to provide a pleasant flavor without hiding the fact that you’re drinking beer will always be enjoyable. Well done Hess.

Obviously I highly enjoyed myself or I wouldn’t have just spit out 600 words that easily. To sum it up for you, R Gang Eatery is now high on my list of places I would want to hold a private beer pairing dinner. Matt and the entire staff did an exceptional job. The evening flowed smoothly, the food was seriously on point and paired well with each beer. To top all that off, it was fun for me behind the scenes to see how well the restaurant’s staff worked together.

Do yourself a favor, like R Gang Eatery in Facebook so you can keep up to date with this San Diego gem.

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