Yazoo beer dinner @ Flying Saucer 4/19/2012

The Flying Saucer held a beer dinner Thursday night, featuring beers from Yazoo brewery in Nashville. I decided to skip opening night of the Peabody rooftop party season to attend the dinner, and it did not disappoint.

The menu

Saucer GM Kirk welcoming everyone to the dinner

Amy, Danielle, and Bob

Opening beer: Yazoo Rye Saison

Ivan “Cellar Man” Chester discussing the Rye Saison

During the tasting of the opening beer, I got called over to the window at the Saucer. Elizabeth wanted to point out that she had a tube top dress on.

First course: Fried green tomatoes and a crawfish-stuffed jalapeno, paired with Yazoo Dos Perros. Ivan explained that the smooth, fairly light Dos Perros was chosen to relieve some of the heat from the jalapeno. “If we paired this dish with an IPA, your mouth would be on fire.”

Ivan then told us that we were just getting started with the heat. “If you think the jalapeno was hot, wait until the main course,” he said. “You may think you’ve had spicy chicken, but you haven’t until you’ve tried Nashville spicy chicken.”

Second course: Sausage and cheese plate paired with Yazoo Hop Project batch 63, a Belgian IPA. Every batch of Hop Project uses different ingredients, and you can read about the batch you’re drinking on the brewery’s blog.

Third course: Nashville spicy chicken and waffles, paired with Gerst. Coming into the dinner, I wasn’t sure whether I would like this dish. I tried chicken and waffles a couple of years ago at Onix, and my reaction was “Meh. I don’t get it.” The dinner’s pairing totally worked though. The chicken was delicious, and the waffle was a perfect counterpoint. Both went well with the beer.

I have to disagree with Ivan though: That chicken was not burn-your-mouth spicy. I’d rate it slightly spicier than medium. That said, I really enjoyed it and the amount of spice it had was perfect for the combination with the waffle.

I honestly had no idea hot chicken was a “thing” in Nashville the way BBQ is here and gumbo is in New Orleans, but damned if Nashville hot chicken doesn’t have its own page on Wikipedia. Here’s a link to a Serious Eats post on Prince’s, a chicken shack in Nashville that Ivan mentioned several times.

Fourth course: Sly Rye Porter flavored ice cream atop a brownie, paired with SUE. Yazoo SUE is a 9% ABV smoke beer.

At the end of the dinner, there was a drawing for some Yazoo door prizes. Amy won a pair of socks. (Slow down, Amy, I’m trying to take your picture!)

Danielle won a Yazoo trucker hat.

Joe, who works down the street at Kooky Canuck, attended his first beer dinner ever. He won a Yazoo T-shirt.

The only minor glitch was that they forgot to bring out silverware until halfway through the first course. Not a problem though; I didn’t mind eating the fried green tomatoes and jalapeno with my hands. Overall, this was an excellent dinner. There was plenty of food, it was all delicious, and I learned a lot about how the beer paired with it. I can’t believe that I only paid $25 to go (the price for UFO members). That is one heck of a value.

Rating: Five stars out of a possible five. Thanks to Ivan, Kirk, and everyone else involved in organizing the dinner. I thoroughly enjoyed it.