Apr 23, 2016

Duck Foot Beer Pairing Dinner at Churchill's Pub

Thursday night I attended the first ever gluten free beer pairing dinner at Churchill's Pub with Duck Foot Brewing Company. I was beyond excited when I was asked to go. An entire meal that is actually gluten free AND paired with real beers that I could drink. It didn’t take anything more to get me on board, I was ready to go.

First, If you’ve never been to a beer pairing dinner at Churchill’s in San Marcos, you should do it. Executive Chef Albert Warfield, has a knack for putting these pairing dinners together. His technique is interesting because he works backwards when pairing these meals. He bases the meal after the beer first, not the other way around. C is also a huge fan of his beer pairing dinners as well.

You will need to cut out a couple hours of your evening and secure a safe ride home. With an average of five courses and a welcome pairing, you will leave full, happy and educated on new beers and ways to enjoy them.

The Welcome

Beer: Strawberry And Lime Zest Berliner Weisse

Plate: Banana Bread Crostini with Strawberry Bruschetta And Candied Lime Zest

The welcome tasting was tart and slightly sweet. I loved the take on bruschetta. The beer was light but sour. It was easy to drink and very enjoyable. I could certainly enjoy a couple on a warm evening. It really paired well with the strawberry bruschetta.

First Course

Beer: Honey Ale w/ Kumquat & Mint

Plate: Ginger Duck Breast Medallion With Sweet Potato Blini, Granny Smith Apples. Honey and Micro Lavender Mint

I love duck so I was excited to start off with this dish. Each bite was reminiscent of the tastes you would get from a thanksgiving meal, only fresher and more crisp. The beer was a delicious summer ale with American honey, citrus and mint with a sweet finish.

Second Course

Beer: Belgian Tripel

Plate: Fried Quail Leg with quail Egg with poached golden raisins and red amaranth.

If you’ve never had fried quail legs I suggest that you put them on your food bucket list of things to try because they were delightful. Speaking of, does anyone else have a foodie bucket list or is that just me??

Crispy and crunchy with the occasional pop of sweetness from the poached golden raisins were a great surprise with each bite.

Third Course

Beer: Dry Hopped Double IPA w/ Chili Peppers

Plate: Jumbo Lump Blue Crab Cake, Blistered Peppers, Roasted Corn with Avocado Mousse, Pickled Cucumber and Old Bay Pearls

This course was exciting. It was unlike anything I have ever tried. I enjoyed the heat from the chilli peppers as the beer hit the back of my throat with each finish, but I wasn’t a fan of the initial taste the beer gave off. It was neither bad nor good. Probably just my underdeveloped beer taste buds, if there is such a thing.

This course had me at Blue Crab. Sometimes I’m easy to please, but truth be told, I have had a bad crab cake or two in my time as a devoted foodie, and this one was delicious. It was meaty, I can’t recall breadcrumbs, which is great, the more crab meat the better. I loved the blistered pepper with it and the corn and avocado mousse with old bay pearls was fantastic. This course was basically made up of some of my favorite flavor profiles, so yeah, I ate it in about 2.5 seconds.

Fourth Course

Beer: Ukrainian Imperial Stout ( Nitro)

Plate: Cocoa Dusted Lamb Rack w/ Purple Cauliflower Puree, Vanilla Salt, Shallot Confit, Porcini Mushroom Demi and Shaved Dark Chocolate with Micro Herbs

This course was very satisfying. I loved the shallot confit with the purple cauliflower puree. It all worked really well together. The shaved dark chocolate with the micro herbs was as great touch and really finished off the taste of every bite.

The beer with this pairing was hard for me to finish. Obviously being new to beer drinking, I just couldn’t handle the full bodied taste, but I can see beers such as this being an acquired taste. Something that was very interesting to me however, was that this beer was carbonated with nitrogen. How cool is that?? Apparently, it create more of a fuller bodied taste.

Fifth Course

Beer: Chocolate Hazelnut Porter w/ Espresso and Peanut Butter

Plate: Flourless Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing, Hazelnut Dust w. Coffee Ice Cream and Vanilla Whipped Cream

Of all the courses I was a little bummed out to see a flourless chocolate cake as the dessert option because that is usually everyone’s standard GF dessert at most all restaurants, but I get it. However, I was actually surprised with how delicious it was. There was nothing standard about this dessert.  Instead of just being served alone with a dusting of powdered sugar he served it with the most mouth watering peanut butter icing that I’ve ever tried. Bits of hazelnuts crunched along with every bite and soft and airy vanilla whipped cream smoothed it all out with hints coffee ice cream.

It was basically a chocolaty party in my mouth and a wonderful way to end the dinner. The beer was perfectly paired with this dish because it basically contained all of the same flavors. It was robust and full bodied thanks to the coffee and chocolate flavors. By this point I couldn’t finish the beer. I can see myself just sipping through a beer like this last one as a dessert by itself.

Do you have a restaurant around your city that you think I should check out? Let me know and I just might have to stop by and try it out! Make sure to follow me on snapchat to see all the behind the scenes moments! snapchat: Life and Splendor


  1. That all looks amazing! Churchill's is now on my list :)

  2. Oh my gosh, this had my mouth watering. What an awesome date idea!

  3. Sounds and looks like you guys had a great time! The food looks great!

  4. OMG. I'd be in heaven. Since moving to San Diego, Vegas and I have become beer snob/junkies. LOL! I love DuckFoot too! All of your descriptions are drool-worthy... the duck, the quail... and "a chocolaty party in my mouth" sounds like something I need to be invited to. LOL!

    This place is actually really close to us... will have to check it out! My recommendation: If you're ever in Little Italy, you MUST try Juniper & Ivy.


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