Beer dinners, those ever-so-popular coursed out tasting and learning experiences–think small plates of finger foods or heavier, saucy numbers passed around family style, each dish painstakingly paired with the host brewery’s latest IPA or Porter and set to a running commentary–are kind of having A Moment right now. Generally speaking, however, the food, usually of the Belgian, German or New American persuasion, is never the true star of the show at these events–it’s all about showcasing the brewer’s hard-won efforts, elevating beer to the pairing level of wine or whiskey and toasting to the time-honored, community building act of sharing a pint.
This is definitely not the case at Joshua M. Bernstein’s upcoming “Meat Your Match” beer dinner, where home-cooked Malaysian grub from Flatbush’s Auria’s Malaysian Kitchen takes center stage, duly supported by an array of delicious fermented beverages. This is the Brooklyn-based writer and craft beer expert’s second beer dinner in the space, a speakeasy-style garden stashed deep in the heart of Brooklyn and run by a Malaysian Chef who practically oozes authenticity. “Chef Auria Abraham has started her own line of killer sambals, fiery and flavorful in equal measure,” explains Bernstein. “Her food has deep family roots, as legit as anything cooked in a Malaysian grandma’s kitchen.”
Why Malaysian? “Spicy, salty, flavor-charged and a wee bit funky, Malaysian cuisine is the ultimate drinking food,” says Bernstein. “It’s rather underrepresented in New York City, so it’s the rare chance to get authentic Malaysian fare–in someone’s party-hearty house, no less.”
And the food does look amazing. According to Bernstein’s website, the night includes “homemade shrimp crackers with sweet chill sauce, traditional Malaysian beef and chicken satay (meats are marinated in fresh turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, fennel, cumin, coriander and fresh chillies, then caramelized on the grill) served with homemade chunky peanut sauce and pressed rice cakes, plus rojak–a vibrant fruit and vegetable salad with cucumbers, pineapple, jicama, fried tofu, green papaya and guava.”
Thirsty? Bernstein’s got you covered, toting along a handful of unique and talented brewers to keep your palate pleased. “People are often told that IPAs go best with spicy fare, but what about saisons? Or maybe a mango mead?,” he suggests. “We’ll have a wide variety of beverages to let you pick your favorite pairing. I can’t wait to try Folksbier’s brand-new saison paired with well-caramelized beef satay, fresh off the grill.”
Other featured brewers include Finback, award-winning homebrewer, writer and fermentation specialist Mary Izett and exciting newcomer Seventh Son, a Columbus, Ohio-based brewery making their first appearance in New York City. What’s more, Auria’s husband, Mush1, will be providing live reggae music to complete the atmosphere. As Bernstein notes, “The tunes will be choice. The food will be nice. The drinks: endless. Surprises: many! The night: not to be repeated.”
Meat Your Match goes down on Saturday, September 12th at 7 p.m. Tickets are $55 and can be purchased online. Use the code satay for $10 off the ticket price until September 1st.