Pairing Preview: OR: 4/13 Wildwood Dinner featuring Vanberg & Wulf Importers

It's a safe bet that during a dinner table discussion the topic of the perfect pairing has come up once or twice. Usually someone will quip that wine tastes best with food. But how many have considered a solid beer? For the malt & hop advocates among us this is not question. But for those who need some persuading we thought we would throw another suggestion your way.

Wildwood Restaurant is hosting a beer dinner featuring not a brewery but instead a brewery importer. Located on 1221 NW 21st Avenue in Portland, the Wildwood is happy to feature Belgian beer importer Vanberg & DeWulf for a five course dinner. Even if you haven't heard of Vanberg & DeWulf you've seen their work in bars and grocers.

Still not ringing a bell? Then you've not heard of Saison Dupont, Scaldis Prestige, or Scaldis Noel.

For those familiar & unfamiliar alike, you can't afford to miss this $65, 5 course, dinner.

More from Wildwood Restaurant & what makes this beer dinner so special

On April 13th, Wildwood Beer Steward and Sous Chef Paul Kasten will be skillfully pairing unique and high-end selections from Vanberg & DeWulf–including Scaldis Prestige de Nuits, retailing at over $40 per bottle–with the finest available ingredients from our local farmers and ranchers.

Beer’s diversity of styles, flavors, richness, and its carbonation make it fantastic for pairing with foods both elegant and humble.  From a crisp, dry lager paired with a light salad or seafood preparation to a big imperial stout with a rich, chocolaty dessert, and the myriad of flavors in between, beer’s versatility at the table is unmatched.  Add to that the explosion in popularity of very well made Belgian-style ales in America, which are the most food-friendly beers of all, and the possibilities of beer and food pairing seem endless.

For those who value facts over storytelling Wildwood has supplied us with their pending menu for the event.

  • Beef Tartare with black pepper, green garlic, sea salt, egg yolk, toasted baguette; paired with Saison Dupont
  • Seared Petrale Sole fillet with creamy leek broth, baby bok choi, morels; paired with Lambickx
  • Crispy Chicken Confit with frisée, egg, bacon vinaigrette, crispy shallots; paired with Scaldis Tripel
  • Stout Braised Pastrami Short Ribs with potato puree, grilled asparagus, jus; paired with Olvisholt Lava
  • Meadow Creek Grayson with plum mostarda, candied hazelnuts, semolina crackers; paired with Scaldis Prestige de Nuits 2009

It's important to remind you the bar tab for the featured beers would set you back over $65, if you were to seek them out at a bottle shop. So why not save yourself the bottle deposit and dirty dishes by making your reservation to Saturday's dinner. For reservations contact Shelly via e-mail shelly@wildwoodpdx.com or drop her a line at (503) 225-0130 extension 2

Saturday April 13th, 2013 6:00 PM (503) 248-9663
Wildwood Restaurant hosts Vanberg & Dewulf
1221 NW 21st Ave  Portland, OR 97210

Curious about Vanberg & Dewulf? We included a long-winded version of Vanberg & DeWulfs bio regarding why they import Belgian beers.

Cheers

About Vanberg & DeWulf

Vanberg & DeWulf is an import company specializing in Belgian beers. It was established in 1982. The company was formed by Donald Feinberg at the end of a three-year stay in Belgium. In 1990 his wife, Wendy Littlefield, joined him in the business. Considered pioneers in bringing Belgian beer styles to the American market, Vanberg & DeWulf introduced American beer lovers to Duvel, Rodenbach, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Affligem abbey beers, Frank Boon’s lambics (gueuze, kriek, framboise, faro and Mariage Parfait), and Blanche de Bruges wit beer. The breweries that made the aforementioned beers were sold, closed and/or went public – thus no longer form part of the Vanberg & deWulf portfolio.

The philosophy of Vanberg and DeWulf is to work exclusively with breweries that are independent, family-run and artisanal in their approach. They are dedicated to educating beer enthusiasts about the rich and varied beer culture of Belgium. They published the first US edition of Michael Jackson’s The Great Beers of Belgium – which is now in its 6th printing and is the classic work on the subject. They worked closely with Ruth Van Waerebeke the Belgian chef and writer who authored Everybody Eats Well in Belgium, a standard reference for US chefs. (see publisher and credits in book)

Littlefield & Feinberg were the first Americans ever inducted into the Belgian Brewers Guild. In recognition of their efforts to build the US market for Belgian beer they were nominated for The Mercurius Award, the highest civilian honor given by the Belgian government for the promotion of Belgium abroad. Along with Charles & Roseanne Finkel and Joe Lieppe of Merchant du Vin Imports, they championed pairing beer and fine food at better restaurants and at culinary schools including The Culinary Institute of America, Cornell Hotel School, The French Culinary Institute, The James Beard Foundation, and Kendall College in Chicago.

Vanberg & DeWulf (headquartered in Cooperstown, NY and still owner-operated) imports some three-dozen beers, mostly Belgian or Belgian influenced* with special emphasis on superior examples of bottle-conditioned, barrel-aged, sour, wild and vintage beers. The company represents beers brewed by:

Brasserie Dubuisson (Pipaix, Belgium)

Scaldis, Scaldis Refermentee, Scaldis Triple, Scaldis Noel, Scaldis Prestige Scaldis Prestige de Nuits, Cuvee des Trolls, Peche Mel

Brasserie Dupont (Tourpes, Belgium)

Saison Dupont, Moinette, Moinette Brune, Foret Organic, Foret Blanche Organic, Avril Organic, Biere de Miel, Posca Rustica, Monk’s Stout, Chateau de Beloiel, Avec les Bons Voeux

Brouwerij Slaghmuylder (Ninove, Belgium)

Witkap series, Witkap Singel, Witkap Dobbel and Witkap Tripel

The Schelde Brouwerij (Meer, Belgium)

Hop Ruiter a beer that is a joint venture

Brouwerij de Troch (Wambeek, Belgium)

Lambrucha, a proprietary Vanberg & DeWulf trademarked blend of lambic and kombucha, and vintage lambic under the Lambickx* line

Brouwerij Dilewins (Dendermonde, Belgium)

Vicardin and Vicarus

Geuzestekkerij DeCam – (Gooik, Belgium)

Oud Gueuze

Brasserie Castelain (Benifontaine, France) Bieres de Gardes made in French Flanders

St Amand, Castelain and Jade Organic, Castelain Grand Cru

Amiata Birrificcio Artigianale (Archidosso, Italy) Spiced and chestnut beers in Tuscany –

Drago, Contessa, Maremmara, Marsilia, Marronbona, Zancona, Crocus, Vecchio Bastarda and soon a beer from Iceland.

In 1996, Don Feinberg & Wendy Littlefield established Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York. It was the first brewery in the United States dedicated to Belgian-style all bottle-conditioned, cork-finished beers. The brewery was established on a 136-acre former hops farm in Otsego County – which was the center for hops growing in America for much of the 19th century. The brewery was formed in partnership with Belgians associated with breweries whose beers Vanberg & DeWulf imported – namely Ben Gevaert formerly President of Duvel Moortgat, his nephews Michel, Philippe and Bernard Moortgat, Theo Vervloet (Affligem), Hugues & Vincent Dubuisson (Dubuisson). Duvel Moorgat bought out the shares of the Belgian co-owners. Ultimately in 2004 they purchased Feinberg & Littlefield’s majority stake in the enterprise.

Under Don & Wendy’s aegis agro tourism was championed. Ommegang was the first farmstead brewery to be built in America in a century. The brands Ommegang, Hennepin (named after the Belgian missionary explorer), Rare Vos (inspired by the Payottenland café), their cave-aged Christmas beers (aged 151 feet below ground at Howe Caverns), Three Philosophers (based on a collaboration with the home brewer Noel Blake), and Centenniale (made with hops from the nearby Farmers’ Museum) were developed and launched by Feinberg & Littlefield. They called the Brewery Ommegang (which means “to walk about”) to honor the festival held annually on the Grand’ Place commemorating the entrance of the Emperor Charles V to the city of Brussels.

Vanberg & DeWulf’s beer and their work as champions of specialty beer has been the subject of more than 1,200 articles and tv segments including one’s appearing in The New York Times, (Glenn Collins) Esquire Magazine (Cal Fussman) All About Beer (Michael Jackson) Martha Stewart TV (Martha Stewart , Rachel Ray (Food on $30 a Day TV Food Network), USA Today (Jerry Shriver), The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine (Kate Sekules/Ruth Van Waerbeke), Sky Magazine, Gourmet (rip), The Wine Spectator, The Atlantic (Corby Kummer), The New Yorker (on Belgium Comes to Cooperstown), Car & Driver, USA TODAY, Bon Appetit, Maxim, Modern Brewery Age, Men’s Health, Beer Connoisseur and by numerous beer writers including by Stephen Beaumont Lew Bryson, Peter Reid, Christian di Benedetti. Their beers have received top honors in competitions press tastings from Rate Beer and Beer Advocate peer reviews .

Aside from their work in the beer business the principals have been active in specialty food, wine, sustainability and food justice & food security initiatives. Though New York metro natives, they raised their children in Cooperstown – a village of 800 families where dairy farming is under pressure. Don Feinberg was Executive Vice President at Dean & DeLuca, and account director for the US advertising for Wines of Spain. Wendy Littlefield has served on the board of NY Chapter of The American Institute of Wine & Food. She founded one of the first rural chapters of Slow Food in America. She co-founded the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market. She has created and executed major beer and food events including the Slow Food Ballpark Frank Tasting (at the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum), Asian Street Food & Belgian Beer Festival (at The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown) and Belgium Comes to Cooperstown on site at Ommegang. The only time the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony dinner has taken place off Clark property, it was held at Brewery Ommegang. Active in women’s rights issues, Wendy helped to organize a series of talks in and around Chicago in 2010 celebrating the history of The Women’s Land Army when food security was ensured by women working on farms during WWI.  Don & Wendy live in Chicago.

About Head Wildwood Chef Paul Kasten

Chef Paul Kasten is the preeminent beer chef in Portland. Cooking from a young age, Paul started his first business at age 9, making “Paul’s Colossal Cookies” for a store in Mystic, CT. Following a stint in professional kitchens in his late teens, he left the kitchen to briefly pursue an English major, before returning to the line. At 28, he attended New England Culinary Institute, where he (ironically) was the first recipient of the Sommelier of the Future Award. His career at Wildwood began with an internship in late 2006, and a Sous Chef title in early 2009. Says Paul, his “beer interests eclipsed wine shortly after moving to Portland.”

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