|Left to right: Ben Dobler, Van Havig, Charlie Devereux and Matt Van Wyk (center)|
The 2nd annual Brewers Burger Brawl took place last night at The Hop & Vine and pitted 5 brewers against each other in a burger and beer pairing contest. Each burger was quite unique and served in slider form, with optional 6 or 12oz beer pairings. Last year Jason Mcadam of Burnside Brewing Co. took home the trophy, and he defended his title this year against Charlie Devereux (Double Mountain Brewing), Van Havig (Gigantic Brewing), Matt Van Wyk (Oakshire Brewing), and Ben Dobler (Widmer Brothers Brewing).
|Jason Mcadam's burger with Jerked Pork Belly/Spiny Lobster/Mango Chutney and plantains|
The burgers were gloriously gluttonous for the most part. Burnside Brewing's with Jerked Pork Belly/Spiny Lobster/Mango Chutney and plantains (Sweet Heat) was the most over the top. Charlie Devereux's was probably the most balanced, with Pancetta/Smokey Bleu/Morel-Onion Confit (Kolsch), and Ben Dobler's with Sweet Onion/White Cheddar/Pomegranate Molasses (Drifter) the most sweet and delicious. Van Havig's had the most chewy, soft and fatty burger, with Duck Liver Pate/Pickled Apples/Arugula (Rauchweizen). The judges' pick, though, was Matt Van Wyk of Oakshire Brewing. His burger featured Blackberry Honey/Rye/Smokey Blue/Mom's Secret Sauce paired with Line Dry Rye. Burnside Brewing was a close 2nd.
I won't deny that Oakshire's burger was very good--the smokey blue cheese and secret sauce were what made it stand out. My top picks, though, were Charlie's, Jason's and Ben's burgers. In fact, all the burgers were very good, and I have a feeling a people's choice vote could have given any one of these fine brewers burgers the win.
Perhaps the hushed whispering between brewer Matt and the judges prior to the winners announcement was just a coincidence, who knows...