Hi everyone, it’s Katherine Curry, with a brief report on the Dogfish Head Brewery evening held this past Saturday night at Holy Smoke in Mahopac. Here’s Holy Smoke’s full rack of ribs, creamed spinach, sweet potato fries — an enormous platter of deliciousness.
Holy Smoke hosts lots of fun beer-related events, but this is the first one I’ve ever attended. Dogfish Head and I go way back — my friends and I discovered this great craft brewery over twelve years ago, during one of our annual summer trips to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Dogfish Head began in Rehoboth Beach back in 1995, and if you’re ever in town, be sure to visit their restaurant/brewpub there — lots of experimental beers on tap and great woodfire-cooked specialties on the menu.
Holy Smoke was packed with beer enthusiasts eager to taste the eighteen Dogfish Head beers on tap that night. When my husband and I arrived at 7:30, the parking lot was overflowing onto the lawn and the side driveway.
We went with five other couples. The best part about being a party of twelve? You can taste a lot of beer that way. I am very sorry to report that I took not one beauty shot of the beer — I was too busy drinking it. But I did take this shot of our table, groaning under the weight of all those plates of meat.
Any germaphobes in our party left their anxieties at home for the evening, as there was lots of sampling and trading of glasses going on.
I was able to sample some pretty rare stuff, including the Red and White, a Belgian-style witbier brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with Pinot Noir juice; the bracing, dark Chicory Stout, which has roasted chicory, Mexican coffee, St. John’s Wort, and licorice root; and the sophisticated but fruity Black and Blue, a golden ale fermented with pureed blackberries and blueberries.
My favorite of the evening was the Pangea, a full-bodied, spicy ale that was the perfect foil for the massive plate of barbecue my husband and I ordered. Everything on our “Pig Nic” plate was delicious: garlic smashed potatoes and coleslaw, syrupy baked beans, ribs, tongue-tinglingly spicy in-house made chorizo sausage, tender and smoky chicken, and excellent pulled pork.
I usually skip the brisket at Holy Smoke — I’m not sure why, but brisket is not this pit’s forte…but having had Texas’s great Louis Mueller’s brisket, I think I’ve become a brisket snob.
Probably the most unusual beer I tasted was the Immort Ale, a high-alcohol content ale made with juniper berries, vanilla and maple syrup, and smoked peat, then oak-aged. It’s a beer best sipped in a lowball glass, the love child of single malt scotch and beer.
We all took home a lot of barbecue, which is perfect: the barbecue at Holy Smoke tastes even better the second day.
Oh, and I had dessert before dinner.
A few miles up the road on Route 6 is Custard’s Last Stand, a cute little place that serves frozen custard, homemade gelato and sorbetto, and Italian ice, and closes at 9 p.m. So I knew I had to stop before dinner.
I got the classic vanilla & chocolate frozen custard twist.
The vanilla is perfection — great vanilla flavor and that rich, creamy, ever-so-slightly stiff texture that is the hallmark of great frozen custard. The chocolate, at least on this particular evening, was not very chocolate-y. I’ll be back to sample the gelato another time, when I don’t have to save room for barbecue and beer.
I tell you, there’s some good eating up in Mahopac!
The 411 on Custard’s Last Stand is coming. Until then:
1090 Route 6, Mahopac. 845-628-0800. Open 1-9 p.m.