Beer Pairing: Central Market + Brooklyn Brewery

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Nothing says summer quite like burgers and beer, but Central Market decided to take it one step further with a multi-course beer pairing featuring selections from the acclaimed Brooklyn Brewery.

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It was admittedly my first time at the Central Market Cooking School, but I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. We were provided with menus, recipes, and an in-depth guide to the beer that we were about to sample. First course: Grapefruit, Asparagus & Pecorino Salad paired with Brooklyn Pennant Ale ’55. The Brooklyn Brewery representative, a very experienced brew master, mentioned that this beer was English-style, and my English partner agreed.

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Next up, we learned how to prepare Lobster Chorizo Pasta. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s lobster that is cooked alongside chorizo, and not some mysterious, new seafood-sausage dish. The beer for this plate was the Local 1, a delicious Belgian-style beer that’s fermented inside the bottle (like Champagne!). This was probably my favorite thing both food and drink-wise of the night.

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After further stuffing ourselves with burgers and Brooklyn Summer Ale, we moved on to a presentation on how to prepare Lamb Scottadito, meanwhile learning the proper way to taste beer between each plate.

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The lamb was served with a dark, brown ale; a contrast to the East India Pale Ale that we were about to sample both inside and outside of our crepes.

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The final course came around, and surprisingly we didn’t explode before it arrived. The crepes themselves had beer as an ingredient, and we were taught the short, but painstaking process it takes to prepare such a delicate dish. The beer proved to not be painfully hoppy, which was a pleasant surprise. If you’d like to catch one of these dinners near you, be sure to check out Central Market’s website. And if you don’t have a Central Market nearby, you’re still sure to have easy access to a delicious array of Brooklyn Brewery beers.

Jester King Brewery & Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza

Commercial Suicide by Jester King



Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza is the new, permanent food source on site at Jester King Craft Brewery. (Previously, it was all just temporary food trucks.) The new spot offers something patrons of Jester King have been wanting for a long time: the ability to buy bottles of beer to take home, something which Jester King is forbidden from doing themselves by the TABC.
The Penelope

Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza opens around 12:30, which gives you time to grab your lunch before the mad rush for brewery tours begins at 1. We showed up at 12:15 and people were already hungrily waiting to order their pies.
Here Comes The Airplane…
The Penelope was sparsely topped compared to most other pizzas. The focus wasn’t on a ton of sauce or cheese, but on a few quality ingredients. The peppery arugula was one of my favorite parts. My partner says that the crust was “thin, crispy, and delicious!” while I was ambivalent. I was in it for the fresh, colorful tomatoes that I wished they’d given us more of.

Wood Oven, Not The Greatest Photo I’ve Ever Taken
 The place is about as bare bones as it gets. The “kitchen” is surrounded by the bar, it lacks walls, and the bathrooms are an annexed (yet, very clean!) airstream trailer off to the side. Luckily, Texas is pretty temperate, at least this part, and the openness shouldn’t be a problem most of the year. It covers a large amount of space and several other tables brought children with them. Watching those kids run amok over the vast, open space made me realize that this is the perfect place for small ones. It’s big enough to where little ones playing chase won’t bother any other patrons.

Jester King Brewery Tasting
 This wasn’t my first rodeo at Jester King’s brewery. My partner and I have been coming for ages, and think the $10 for 8 samples are ample, generous, and the perfect way to relax on a Saturday. The place gets PACKED. So I’d shoot for arriving as close to opening as possible, if not a few minutes before. You get to play games like corn hole, listen to some decent live bands, and take home the glass when you’re finished.



Lunch at Banger’s


Banger’s is the new sausage and beer garden on Rainey Street that’s famous for their 103 taps. I’ve been 3 times so far, and though they’ve been less than perfect when I went, I love it. Perhaps it’s because they carry sours?


The first time I went was at night (hence the shotty photography). They were incredibly busy, and their famous tap wall was broken. I’m chalking that up as a one-time thing, but it did have a profound effect on our enjoyment of our evening. This is a place where you come for the beer and stay for the sausage! Or is that the other way around? 


Who knew that fresh, sliced tomatoes could be such a win? This delicious side comes with basil and can have goat cheese added on for as little as 75 cents. Trust me, this simplistic side is a must.


Also on the healthy produce list? Pickled vegetables served up in a mason jar and extra briny. These, I could live without, but did like them.


The sausages are both sizable and endlessly customizable. You have 3 vegetarian sausage choices (I choose the mushroom one), and more meat options than you can shake a piece of venison at. After that, you choose your type of bun, garnishes (including BYFO peppers which stands for “Burn Your Face Off”), and sauces. 


You’re going to want to put the spicy mustard on the side, and think hard about whether or not you want the BYFO peppers. I’m Cajun, and this place terrifies me when it comes to heat. Spicy really does mean spicy to them.


My partner got the chili cheese fries. It’s literally a tray filled with, well, what’s shown above. It is a monstrosity (portion-wise) and should be shared by, I don’t know, 50 people? 


The very best time to come is during lunch. They have an “Executive Lunch” deal which is any sausage, any side, and any Texas draft for $8. Sausage and beer fans rejoice!


Oh, and they have a deal with a tattoo artist. Really. You can get a free tattoo of the Bangers logo if you like them that much. I like them a lot, but only enough to make Executive Lunch a regular staple to my diet.

Truth be told, food has come out wrong 2 out of the 3 times we went, but the errors were minor and all new restaurants are going to experience growing pains; so grab your dog (there’s a dog run!), a drinking buddy, and your appetite. I think Banger’s is really going to impress you.

Lunch at Hopdoddy

Hopdoddy Burger Bar promises innovative hamburgers, quality ingredients, and bread that’s baked in house twice daily. Trust me, they deliver.


They have plenty of sauces to choose from and a menu ranging from vegetarian items like, “The Janis Joplin,” all the way up to something that can best be described as “a carnivore’s wet dream.”


I had the sushi-grade tuna burger, and immediately tasted why so many Yelp reviews insisted that it be ordered.


The boyfriend had something more traditional, and I decided to draw fangs on it, but they didn’t turn out as nicely as the fangs I drew on mine did.


They’ve got a full bar so you can have anything from a Paloma to a 512 Double Pecan Porter (which I recommend).


The restaurant is almost always packed, and it’s a bit clusterf@!*ky to sort out where your table is once it’s been assigned.

All in all, it’s pricey, but I liked it. 



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