You know you’ve stumbled upon a special beer week event when you start the night off with a “beermosa” and end with a silly string fight. The LAB‘s superhero-inspired beer dinner experience challenged the beer dinner status quo with its combination of live comedy, video, audience participation (complete with costumes for the staff and more dedicated attendees) and, of course, six courses of thoughtfully paired beer and food courses from LAB’s brewers Bruce Cottingham and Jonathan Chassner and executive chef Mike Fisera. The event attracted an adventurous bunch, and the courses — with names like Hulked Up Liver fois gras and I Think I’ll Have a Drink Now champagne sorbet — had as much personality and humor as the actors. A second superhero dinner takes place tonight at 6:30.
Like the be-wigged, villainous Loki (that pale guy from the Thor movies) character reminded us, “Hell hath no fury like a man without his beer.” Very true. Luckily, none of the diners were without beer from the start of the event to the finish. After our beermosa welcome, the dinner began with the LAB’s IPA paired with the Spinning Spiders beet and chèvre dish. The servers kept the food and drink coming at a good pace, and the courses were interspersed with superhero theatrics and gags. The jokes seemed to get funnier and the audience was more eager to participate as the drinking progressed, though it doesn’t take an evil genius to solve that mystery.
One of the most successful pairings was the Waves of Grain Amber and the Flat Iron Man Steak shawarma (cleverly served in newspaper wrapping). The Three Threads Porter, with its dark chocolate and coffee notes, was another a table favorite, paired with Thor’s hammered pork tenderloin. The serving size — for both the beer and food — was spot-on, and lighter dishes, like Captain America’s Victory Garden Veggies with kraut and extra-spicy mustard, provided a nice balance to what could easily have become an overly heavy meal.
The tables were littered with take-away goodies like tiny Thor hammers and spiderman rings — kind of like a kid’s birthday party for beer-swilling grown-ups — in a good way. As it turns out, if you serve a group of people six courses of beer and put silly string on the table, those people will in fact spray silly string all over the place. Fittingly, those who identified as “evil” at the end of the night (most everyone) got a super sour sorbet, while the good ones still among us were served a warm, honeyed pastry. I can only imagine that after getting blasted with silly string, the servers took an added pleasure in presenting us with our just desserts.
The hilarious Kelli Cayman Cozlin wrote and directed the event, and she says to expect more dinners like it, including a 90s movie-themed dinner in August. Check with the LAB in the coming months for details.