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2014 Brewmasters' Dinners

Dinner tableIf you love craft beer, you must come have dinner with us!
The 2014 events will be a tremendous treat. The original weekend event was suggested by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and much ado has been made of them by our guests.
The celebrity beer pairing dinners show off the ultimate flexibility of beer with food. The Traditional Brewmasters’ Dinner shows off our Featured Brewmasters for this year’s event, and the Calibration Dinner with Avery & Dogfish Head really starts our celebration weekend off “calibrating your palate”!

Our 2014 Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines event host is the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, and they have again enthusiastically wrapped their arms around both the Calibration Dinner and the Traditional Brewmasters’ Dinner.

Todd BemisChef Todd Bemis was born in Edmond Oklahoma and spent his childhood in North Texas. Todd started cooking in an ice cream store; working the griddle, cooking hamburgers and hotdogs at the age of 16. He short order cooked in various restaurants until the age of 20. Todd's formal culinary training was via an American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship at the Anatole Hotel near Downtown Dallas. Todd's apprenticeship involved formal training within the 12 different outlets at the Anatole including stops in the pastry kitchen and garde-manager.

At the end of his apprenticeship, Todd cooked for several different chefs as business required. Started working at the Bristol Hotel Company's flagship hotel in 1987 as a Sous Chef. During his 16 year tenure at Bristol Hotels, Todd held the following positions, Sous Chef, Executive Chef, Food and Beverage Director, Director of Convention Services, Rooms Director, and General Manager. As GM, Todd was responsible for renovating and repositioning 5 properties, all with heavy food and beverage operations in Jackson MS, Atlanta GA and Omaha NE. Todd completed the American Hotel Motel Association's Certified Hotel Administration program in 1996. He was awarded as "Hometown Hero" by the Jackson MS Chamber of Commerce and inducted into the Chamber's Leadership Jackson program.

Todd moved back to Texas in 2000 and started working as District Manager and Corporate Executive Chef for Alonti Café and Catering managing 8 stores. In 2005 Todd Moved to Hot Springs to join the Homestead Culinary where he worked as the Banquet Chef and Executive Sous Chef. In 2011 Todd moved to Vail, Colorado to work with Destination Hotels and Resorts Vail Cascade Property.

Todd is an Eagle Scout and worked at Philmont Scout Ranch as a Ranger.

Chef Todd has included his entire team in the Brewmasters' Dinner preparations, and they look forward to the menu creation and actual dinners themselves each year.

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Calibration Dinner

In turn, both welcoming us to the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa and opening our 14th Anniversary weekend, the Calibration Dinner on Thursday night will begin in the Library and Mountainside Room, and continue in Atwater on Gore Creek. As is traditional, Adam Avery and Sam Calagione will be co-hosting the opening festivities.

Sam Calagione, Founder/President, Dogfish Head Brewing & Eats, Milton, DE
Dogfish HeadSam CalagioneWhen Sam Calagione opened Dogfish Head in 1995 it was the smallest commercial brewery in America making 10 gallons of beer at a time. 

Today Dogfish Head is among the fastest growing breweries in the country.  Dogfish Head has focused on brewing stronger, more exotic beers since the day it opened as the motto “Off-centered ales for off-centered people” attests to.  Dogfish Head has grown into a 180 person company with a restaurant/brewery/distillery in Rehoboth Beach and a production brewery in Milton, Delaware, selling beer in 27 states. 

Sam currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Brewers Association and was a finalist in 2011 and 2012 for a James Beard Foundation Award in the Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional category. Fast Company Magazine named Sam one of The 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2011.   He is the author of “Brewing up a Business” and “Extreme Brewing,” and co-authored “He Said Beer, She Said Wine.”  Sam lives in beautiful Lewes, Delaware, with his wife and Dogfish VP Mariah and their two children Sammy and Grier.

Adam Avery, Founder/Brewmaster, Avery Brewing Company, Boulder, CO
Avery Brewing“My love of beer began as an infant. My aunt would put a few drops of the precious liquid on my pacifier to ease the pain of teething. My passion grew through the years as my parents had a "European attitude" towards alcoholic beverages. As I grew into adulthood, I found it difficult to find brands that challenged me. My tastebuds required more flavor than breweries at that time were creating.

I was forced to homebrew. All kinds of strange concoctions poured from my kitchen. The cases stacked up.....my friends and I couldn't quaff as fast as I brewed. The creations, I was told, were great. "Start a brewery!" they said. So with the aid of Dad and his friend, Steve Wagner, I turned my hobby into a profession.Twenty years later, my singular goal is to challenge your tastebuds, taking brewing to another level of flavor, quality, and consistency. I am......a beer junkie!”

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Traditional Brewmasters’ Dinner

This year our Featured Brewmasters hail from opposite sides of the country, offering a taste of what’s happening on both the East and West Coasts in the craft beer industry.
Deschutes BreweryCam O'Connor

Cam O’Connor, Brewmaster for Deschutes Brewing Co. in Bend, Oregon is our West Coast Featured Brewmaster for 2014.

Cam finds that experimentation and taking risks are a matter of course when you choose a career in brewing.

Nearly 10 years ago he began working as a brewer at the company and in 2008, he brewed the very first batch of beer for sale at the Portland Public House and Brewpub in Portland, Oregon's Pearl District. He has also worked on labors of love like the experimental Bond Street Series beers, some of which went through more than 20 rounds of tinkering before being formally released.

Before joining Deschutes Brewery, Cam was with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Cam holds a bachelor of arts in biology with a minor in chemistry, and has completed the University of California Davis Master Brewer Program. When he's not up to his elbows in hops and malt, you'll find him enjoying the great outdoors with his son.

Scott Vaccaro, Head Brewer/Owner of Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. in Elmsford, NY is our East Coast Featured Brewmaster for 2014.
Captain Lawrence BrewingScott Vaccaro

Scott has been standing over the brew kettle since the young age of 17 and has been on a quest to create the perfect pint ever since.

After earning a BS in Fermentation Science from UC Davis in 2001, and living in California for nearly six years, Scott moved back to his home state of New York and Captain Lawrence Brewing Company was opened in early 2006. 

With a love for barrel aged beers and sour ales Captain Lawrence Brewing Company has been fermenting and experimenting with what ever barrels they can find since opening almost 8 years ago.  Currently the CLBC beers are available in NY, CT and northern NJ. 

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Village Brewmasters' Dinner

Village Brewmasters' Dinner will be held at Manor Vail Resort in the Lord Gore Restaurant.

Featured Brewmasters at this dinner will be Gordon Schuck, Owner/Brewmaster for Funkwerks, Ft. Collins, CO and Brewmaster (TBD) for Goose Island Beer Co., Chicago, IL.

This dinner will take place on Friday evening, kicking off at 8:30pm to give everyone time to get there from the Cascade following the 6:30pm seminar. Transportation will be provided.

Gordon SchuckGordon SchuckGordon Schuck, Owner/Brewmaster for Funkwerks, Ft. Collins, CO

Gordon Schuck has a background in Electrical Engineering and spent 14 years in the bike industry building titanium bicycle frames. He began home brewing in 2002 and won a gold medal at the National Homebrew Competition in 2007 for his Saison. 

In 2009 he graduated from the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago and the Doemans Academy in Munich with a diploma in Brewing Science. Along with Brad Lincoln, Gordon Schuck started Funkwerks in 2010. In 2012 Funkwerks won the Great American Beer Festival Small Brewing Company of the Year.

Jared Jankowski, Head Brewer for Goose Island Beer Co., Chicago, ILGoose IslandJared Jankowski

Jared began home brewing as a senior in high school, much to the chagrin of his reluctant parents.  However, he was able to convince them it was a great way to solidify the fundamentals of science.

Jared was born in Maine, raised in Wisconsin, and attended the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire.  There he earned his BS in Chemistry with the hopes of pursuing a career in brewing or teaching.  He then attended the American Brewers Guild where he earned his brewing diploma. 

Jared began his brewing career at New Glarus Brewing Company and was with them for 7 ½ years before joining Goose Island Beer Company as their Head Brewer about a year and a half ago.

Last year Jared and his wife welcomed their first child, Will.  


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Now that you are familiar with this year’s Hosts, here’s the lowdown on the Dinners themselves:
The format of the Brewmasters’ Dinners is rather unique. It is a “double” beer pairing in the full sense of the term. The chef for each dinner is challenged to design a menu around the creations that the Brewmasters offer. Each course features one beer from each brewery, therefore considerably more difficult than a single pairing for each. And Chef is pairing five courses for each dinner, which makes for an incredible beer adventure as well!

This year Avery Brewing Co.,  Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Deschutes Brewing Co. and Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., Funkwerks and Goose Island Brewing Co. have all agreed to follow the historical precedent of donating product and assisting us with our special event, and it has made it possible to keep the cost of dinner to our guests quite reasonable. The cost of dinner will be $82/person, plus tax and gratuity. Tickets can be purchased online by going to our Big Beers Festival Tickets page. Should an event be sold out, a waiting list will be kept by the coordinator, and you can contact us directly. Cancellations are fully refundable, providing that we can rebook your seat. (Thus, refunds will only be issued after the replacement reservation has been paid in full.)

For historical Brewmasters’ Dinner information, scroll down toward the bottom of this page. All previous Brewmasters’ Dinner menus are available, as well as Marty Jones’ review of our first Brewmasters’ Dinner.

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Previous Brewmasters' Dinners

As our Fourteenth Annual Brewmasters’ Dinner gets underway, we offer an overview of  our previous Brewmasters’ Dinners, including menus and a review, so that you can peruse the culinary extravagance that has gone before…

2013 Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Brewmasters’ Dinner

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, Vail, Colorado
Executive Chef:  Todd Bemis and the Vail Cascade Culinary Team
Brewmasters:
Kevin DeLange, Dry Dock Brewing Co., Aurora, CO
Matt Brynildson, Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Pasa Robles, CA
Brewmasters' Dinner Menu

Atwater on Gore Creek
Dry Dock Brewing
Firestone Walker

2013 Calibration Dinner

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, Vail, Colorado
Executive Chef:  Todd Bemis and the Vail Cascade Culinary Team
Brewmasters:
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
Adam Avery, Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, CO
Calibration Dinner Menu

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
Avery Brewing
Dogfish Head

2012 Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Brewmasters’ Dinner

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, Vail, Colorado
Executive Chef:  Todd Bemis and Sous Chef Jay Spickelmeier
Brewmasters:
John Mallett, Bell's Brewing Co., Kalamazoo, MI
J. Todd Usry, Breckenridge Brewery, Denver, CO
Brewmasters' Dinner Menu

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
Bell's
Breckenridge Brewing

2012 Calibration Dinner

Atwater on Gore Creek, Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
Executive Chef: Chefs Stephen Belie and Maria Sacconi
Brewmasters:
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
Adam Avery, Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, CO
Calibration Dinner Menu

Atwater on Gore Creek
Avery Brewing
Dogfish Head


2011 Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Brewmasters’ Dinner

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, Vail, Colorado
Executive Chef:  Adam Votaw
Brewmasters:
Steven Pauwels, Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, MO
Chris Bauweraerts, co-Founder of Brasserie d’Achouffe, Ardennes, Belgium
Brewmasters' Dinner Menu

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
Boulevard Brewing
Brasserie D'Achouffe

2011 Calibration Dinner

Atwater on Gore Creek, Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
Executive Chef:  Adam Votaw
Brewmasters:
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
Adam Avery, Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, CO
Calibration Dinner Menu

Atwater on Gore Creek
Avery Brewing
Dogfish Head


2010 Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Brewmasters’ Dinner

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, Vail, Colorado
Executive Chef:  Adam Votaw
Brewmasters:
Peter Bouckaert, New Belgium Brewing Co., Ft. Collins, CO
Lodewijk Swinkels, Brewmaster for LaTrappe at Bierbrouwerij Koningshoeven, Berkel-Enschot, The Netherlands
Brewmasters' Dinner Menu

Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
New Belgium Brewing
La Trappe

2010 Calibration Dinner

Atwater on Gore Creek, Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
Executive Chef:  Adam Votaw
Brewmasters:
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
Adam Avery, Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, CO
Calibration Dinner Menu

Atwater on Gore Creek
Avery Brewing
Dogfish Head


2009 Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Brewmasters’ Dinner

Centre V Restaurant in the Arrabelle at Vail Square, Vail, Colorado
Executive Chef:  Darrell Jensen
Brewmasters:
Vinnie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, CA
Matt Brophy, Flying Dog Brewing Co., Fredericktwon, MD

Brewmasters' Dinner Menu

2009 Calibration Dinner

Vail Marriott Mountain Resort
Executive Chef: Mercer Mohr
Brewmasters:
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
Adam Avery, Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, CO

Calibration Dinner Menu

Centre V
Russian River
Flying Dog


2008 Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Brewmasters’ Dinner

Ocotillo Restaurant,  Vail Marriot Mountain Resort, Vail, Colorado
Executive Chef: Mercer Mohr        Guest Chef: Bruce Paton
Brewmasters:
Tomme Arthur, Port Brewing & The Lost Abbey, San Diego, CA
Doug Odell, Odell Brewing Co, Ft. Collins, CO
Brewmasters' Dinner Menu

2008 Calibration Dinner

Blue Tiger Restaurant in Cascade Village, Vail, CO
Executive Chef:  Dario Santelli
Brewmasters:
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
Adam Avery, Avery Brewing Co., Boulder, CO

Ocotillo
The Lost Abbey
Port Brewing
Odell Brewing

2007 Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Brewmasters’ Dinner

Restaurant Kelly Liken,  Vail Village, Vail, Colorado
Executive Chef/Owner: Kelly Liken
Brewmasters:
Hildegard Van Ostaden, Brouwerij de Leyerth, West Flanders, Belgium
Brian Dunn, Great Divide Brewing Company, Denver, Colorado
Brewmasters' Dinner Menu

Kelly Liken
Urthel
Great Divide


2006 Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Brewmasters’ Dinner

Lord Gore Restaurant, Vail Village, Vail, Colorado
Executive Chef, Richard Mason
Brewmasters:
Eric Wallace, Left Hand Brewing Company, Longmont, Colorado
Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, Maine

Brewmasters' Dinner Menu

Lord Gore
Left Hand
Allagash


2005 Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Brewmasters’ Dinner
Montauk Seafood Restaurant, Lionshead Village, Vail, Colorado
Executive Chef, Dimitri Souverin
Brewmasters:
Adam Avery, Avery Brewing Company, Boulder, Colorado
Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Delaware

Brewmasters' Dinner Menu

Montauk
Avery
Dogfish


For further endorsement, here’s what Marty Jones said about the 2005 Brewmasters' Dinner in the February/March 2005 issue of Celebrator:

"…about 50 judges, brewers and beer fiends gathered at Montauk Seafood Grill for a Brewmasters’ Dinner. The hosts were boundary-pushing cult hero Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head Brewery) and his Colorado counterpart, Adam Avery (Avery Brewing Company).

The extreme-beer dinner featured 14 muscular, genre-bending beers from Dogfish Head and Avery, along with elevated cuisine from Dimitri Souvorin, Montauk’s chef. Souvorin — conducting his first beer dinner — faced the daunting task of pairing his food with high-gravity beers. Dinner patrons faced the equally daunting task of squaring off with the night’s highly alcoholic beers.

Group
Brewer Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Delaware speaking

The affair started with guest-mingling and appetizers of calamari, crab cakes and smoked salmon crostinis. These choice nibbles were paired with snifters of Avery’s hop hammer, Hog Heaven, and the company’s winter beer, Old Jubilation. There were also servings of Dogfish’s dreamily aromatic 60 Minute IPA and its heartier sibling, 90 Minute IPA.

The sit-down portion of the meal matched expertly prepared food items with a pair of large beers from Avery and Dogfish Head. A bowl of mussels and clams steamed in saffron-infused cream was partnered with Dogfish’s Raison d’Etre and Avery’s Salvation. A toothy Black Angus filet was served alongside Dogfish’s deceptively strong Olde School barley wine and Avery’s Belgian-inspired heavyweight, Reverend.

The meal ended with a gooey chocolate lava cake and assorted cheeses matched with Dogfish’s portlike elixir, World Wide Stout, and Avery’s imposing Czar Imperial Stout. By dinner’s end, guests had enjoyed their fill, with some passing on finishing their beer portions. The over-the-top beer, fine food and fellowship benefited from tasty repartee from Calagione and Avery, who shared gonzo beer info and beer-blessed anecdotes with their smiling fans."

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