I woke up this morning and I got myself a beer. I met Mario Batali at 7am for a most enjoyable breakfast of sausages and ale. He prepared four different kinds of sausages and different homemade condiments to top them with. From a chili relish to a black truffle aoli. The sausages were delish and ranged from mild to spicy. Soooo good.
We wanted to check in with each other and try the Eataly test brews we've been working on in the context of the menu Mario is planning for the rooftop Eataly NYC Brewpub. We want to make sure the beers line up well with the food and now we know they sure as fuck do! My favorite pairing was the mild lamb and pork sausage with the Peppercorn Wheat beer. Oh, and the spicy pork and fennel sausage with the malty, chestnut English Mild Ale.
I can't wait to report back to Teo (Baladin Brewery outside Turin, Italy) and Leo (Birra Del Borgo, near Rome, Italy) that Mario is really digging the beers and the way they work with the sausages. He and Joe Bastianich picked out the peppercorn we used in that beer when I met with them a couple months ago.
The goal for all the Eataly beers is to have them be super-flavorful, super-food friendly, and very sessionable. Brooks, the Eataly NYC head brewer, and Bryan brewed the chestnut and peppercorn test batches at our Rehoboth pub and I brewed the Thyme Pale Ale this summer with Leo and Teo at Leo's brewery.
A couple points of distinction for the brewery at Eataly NYC: I believe it will be the first Brewpub in the states to produce 100 percent beer engine driven cask conditioned ale in house. Also, it's on the 15th floor, so I think it's the highest brewery in the states.
Highest brewery. Not highest brewer.
The views from the rooftop brewery bar are going to be amazing. You feel like you can reach out and grab the Empire State Building with one hand and the Flatiron Building with the other without even getting off your stool.
Mario Batali tasting sausages and beer for Eataly Birreria, NYC
Above is a photo of Mario sharing his first impressions of the Peppercorn Wheat for the 'Brew Masters' film crew this morning. Also in the photo is a sneak peak of the Birreria Brothers (the brand of beers we will be making at Eataly NYC) logo Teo Musso of Brewery Baladin came up with the name and the the three semi-circled logo was designed by my friend Mauro to represent the three contributing breweries. The beer engine shields he designed at his studio in Florence, Italy. They were cast in metal and stamped out with each beer's name. Mauro's wife and business partner Michelle grew up with me in a home that's a quarter mile from Dogfish Head, Maine. It's a small world after all. Eataly NYC Brewpub is set to open in March 2011.