O’Brien’s Pub hosts another beer dinner with an “Eppig” beer pairing

Eppig+Brewing%27s+first+beer+tasting+of+the+night-+the+Special+Lager+
Eppig Brewing's first beer tasting of the night- the Special Lager

Eppig Brewing's first beer tasting of the night- the Special Lager

Photo Credit: Chelsea Heath

Photo Credit: Chelsea Heath

Eppig Brewing's first beer tasting of the night- the Special Lager

Chelsea Heath, Staff Writer

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              O’Brien’s Pub, located on Convoy street in Kearny Mesa, has been a local staple and mecca for craft beer lovers for over 20 years. One Sunday a month, O’Brien’s hosts a dinner featuring beer pairings from a local brewery. This time, it was Eppig.

              Eppig Brewing, with tasting rooms in North Park and the newest addition in Point Loma, will be celebrating their second anniversary in November this year, but their roots date back to the 1800s. In attendance was co-founder Stephanie Eppig, who is continuing her family’s legacy with Eppig Brewing. Eppig said, “We opened about 15 to16 months ago, which was 150 years after my family’s first brewery opened in Brooklyn in New York…to be able to resurrect the family brewery has been a huge source of pride. And to be able to share our beers with everybody in San Diego County has been really great this year.”  

              Also in attendance was co-founder and brewer Clayton Leblanc, who had worked for Ballast Point prior to Eppig. When asked what his favorite pairing of the night was, Leblanc responded, “I really thought that the Tranquillo Farmhouse Kolsch went really well with the white bean and chicken skin dish…that one was maybe the biggest surprise for me in that as I was drinking them together it was like ‘oh my god’ sometimes just, things click.” The dinner featured eight different Eppig beer varieties ranging in style from Lagers, IPAs, and Porters. Each beer was then paired with a specific type of food to bring out the flavor, complexities, and depths of the combinations.

               Each menu is planned and executed by Tyson Blake, beer chef and general manager/partner of O’Brien’s. The menu is tailored to each brewery, after the brewers and owners participating in the dinner choose the list of beers and types of food they enjoy eating. Blake has an uncanny ability to create food that makes the flavors dance across the tongue and, despite feeling full, makes it almost impossible to stop eating. Every dinner, Blake also finds a way to transform pork belly (what he calls “birthday bacon”) into an utter masterpiece. Afterwards, he spoke about the dinner saying, “We did six pretty awesome courses, it’s hard to pick just one. But the one I was probably most excited about was the beef cheek dish that we did with black butter and asparagus and a pistachio cream.” This particular dish was paired with Eppig’s Baltic Porter and Super Schwarz German Black Lager, which is something Blake said, “I don’t think I’ve ever done before in my ten years of doing beer dinners.” Another house favorite of the evening was the tempura avocado filled with Ahi Poke paired with the Special Lager, a Japanese-style dry lager.

             Each event leaves its guest with the struggle and difficulty of determining a true favorite when every dish is so perfectly paired and complimentary of one another. One thing is for certain, is that it gives attendees something to look forward to when the next dinner comes along. The beer pairings are open to the public, but occur after restaurant hours and do require the purchase of a spot.

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Chelsea Heath, Writer

Hello, my name is Chelsea and I am a 26 year old journalism major. This is my second year here at Mesa, and I am currently working towards finishing an...

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O’Brien’s Pub hosts another beer dinner with an “Eppig” beer pairing