Guest Bite: Maloney’s in Matawan is a neighborhood pub with sneaky good food and maybe the best beer selection in Monmouth County. I say sneaky because, while you expect great pub grub at Maloney’s (which they definitely deliver), their unexpected dinner entrees are surprisingly top notch.
When Beer Manager, Kevin Francolini, announced his second beer tasting, I decided that I couldn’t miss it and still consider myself a beer geek. Not only does Kevin know his beer, it turns out he’s an ace at pairing beer with food. He told me that Chef Drew planned the menu and he paired the beer to it, but sometimes they reverse the process and the chef matches the menu to the beer. Now that’s team work!
At $30 a person, the four course food and beer tasting is a bargain as well! Each course comes with an 8 oz. Glass of the paired beer, and you might get a little extra if there’s left over beer. Hospitality and generosity!
Ok, here’s the line up:
Course 1: Butternut and Sweet Potato Soup with Cinnamon Croutons paired with Sierra Nevada Kellerweis. The soup was just shy of dessert. That’s a dangerous line, but the chef got it right. The Kellerweis is a hefeweizen style, and this particular one had heavy banana notes with the usual clove flavor understated.
Course 2: Stuffed Mushrooms with Sausage and Cranberry Filling paired with Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar. The mushrooms had a zesty Vodka sauce drizzled on top that played perfectly with the sweet hazelnut hints in the brown ale. As with many of Rogue beers, I couldn’t drink this one all night but it’s a great companion for food.
Course 3: Turkey Roulade with Sage and Cornbread Stuffing paired with Ommegang Biere de Mars. The main event! Undoubtedly the best round of the night for me. Roulade is a sophisticated way to serve turkey, so it called for a sophisticated beer to accompany it. Biere de Mars fit the bill perfectly! Kevin describes it as “funky, earthy and mineral notes of the Brettanomyces Bruxellensis yeast.” The notes of hay in this beer is a love it or hate it flavor, but suffice it to say, I’ll be picking up a bottle for next Thursday!
Course 4: Pumkin Crème Brulee paired with Southern Tier Choklat Stout. I’m not a big dessert eater, but Pumkin Crème Brulee? You don’t say no to that. You also don’t say no to the thick cocoa flavors of Choklat Stout either. At 11% make sure you sip this one because you won’t taste that alcohol at all.
Well, if that didn’t wet your appetite, I don’t know what will. Even if you aren’t a beer geek like me, you may want to give one of these dinners a try just to experience the flavors for yourself.
There weren’t too many empty seats last night, so go to their website ) and sign up for the email list. There is usually one tasting per month and honest, I wish I could make them all!
Peter Culos is a self-proclaimed Beer Geek and he happens to be my boyfriend. Peter is a graphic designer by profession and artist by nature. He also qualifies in Geek status on the topic of History which he writes about on his blog History-Geek.com. Peter is also still mad at me for publishing “There no one Sweeter than Peter” in our High School Play Program. It’s still true.