Wednesday, 10 February 2010

It's my party (and I'll specify the drinks if I want to)

Hooray! I'm going to be 40 years old in 9 days time. To celebrate, I'm gathering a dozen close friends together at Leeds Corn Exchange, aka Piazza by Anthony (pictured left). We're going to have some excellent browsing and sluicing, in a private dining room at the venue. They've allowed me to specify the menu (from a variety of options), agreed to a very modest corkage charge for the beers that I want to bring, and have a huge amount of poncey Riedel stemware for us to drink from. Depending on your point of view, this is either a splendid way to celebrate my birthday with friends, or an irritating and toe-curling evening of poncing it up with beer. I don't mind what you think, but I'm looking forward to it.

I've got matches for most of the food, although am still a bit stuck for an aperitif to serve with the canapes - if you have any ideas, then please, fire away. And if you're really stuck for something to do right now, feel free to have a bash at suggesting beer matches for the food - although I had a pretty good idea what I wanted to do, I cross-referenced most of the dishes with Garrett Oliver's "The Brewmasters Table" [beer matches now posted against food].

Just for the avoidance of doubt, I've suggested food matches for all of the courses, with an option of two very different dessert beers that should work well with any of the puddings. I've asked my friends to have a go with the beer matches, although if they choose to drink something else, that's fine (I suppose).

Canapes (6/7 of each, first come first served)
Cauliflower Trifle
Pea Veloute, Coconut
Crab with Gazpacho Espuma
Potted Crayfish and Spiced Bread
Roast Chicken Wings & Shaved Mozzarella
Ham Hock & Mustard Caramel
- served with Mort Subite Oude Gueuze

Terrine of Duck Confit, Pistachio & Pickled Beetroot - served with Chimay Red
White Onion Risotto with Coffee and Parmesan Air - served with Duvel
Shellfish Soup - served with PJ Fruh Kolsch

Lemon Sole, French Beans, Brown Shrimp Butter - served with Hoegaarden Wit
Roast Pork, Sage Parmentier, Apple & Vanilla Puree - served with Schneider Weisse
Sirloin Steak, Mushrooms, Onion Rings - served with Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale

3 different cheeses - hard, soft and blue - served with Fullers Vintage 2005

Poached Pineapple, Cardamom Ice Cream
Black Forest Gateau, Cherry Ripple Ice Cream
Baileys and Chocolate Cheesecake
- choice of Mort Subite Kriek or Ola Dubh 40yr Old


  1. I hope you’ve sorted out a baby-sitter for next morning as well…That looks seriously good, I did something similar for my 40th, but left out the food, I think it was a game of football and a barrel of Old Freddy Walker.
    for an aperitif, how about Waldhaus Diplom Pils? chilled to the bone.

  2. nice party idea sounds like fun!
    the only way i would have a clue what to match would be to get that book of the shelf next to me.
    when I'm 40 I'll probably have a better idea (long way to go though)

  3. Adrian - Waldhaus Diplom Pils? Is that one of Aldi's specials?

    Stu - you're a brewer, you can just make whatever you want for your party.

  4. Have a happy birthday fella, I raise a can of Stella to your good health.

  5. Cookie - I appreciate you breaking out the good stuff in my honour.

  6. That sounds like a pretty amazing way to spend your birthday, (happy birthday in advance!)

    I love the idea of taking your own beer, we used to do it alot when we lived in Bradford as most the curry houses weren't licenced

    ill have to start planning something as spectacular for my 30th next year.

  7. 40? I wish I was 40 again. I wanted to stop celebrating birthdays at 30, but other people keep wanting to celebrate them for me.

    Happy Birthday Zak and I hope your friends appreciate the beer matches.

  8. holy crap that sounds good! Love the choice of the Ola Dubh 40 at the end. I would choose a hoppy pilsner to go with the starter. Light but dry and crisp. And some gueuze as a pre-dinner drink to get the tongue excited.

  9. I got Ola Dubh 40 for my Dad's birthday. They didn't make an Ola Dubh 60!

    Sounds like a good party idea though. Sometimes you have to just ponce it up to the max!

  10. You should've got him two bottles of 30!

    I might get "ponce it up to the max" tattooed in gothic script on my back


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