Are Beer Pairing Dinners Too Expensive or are they worth it?

Earlier today on twitter(June 18, 2014), I said that the upcoming Banger’sAvery Beer Pairing Dinner was “pricey” at $85.39.

A few people agreed with me, although one person insinuated I was “broke” and needed to “live a little”.

Screen shot from Twitter saying "I remember when I was broke and botching"

While I was sitting on the balcony of my 10,000 ft square foot house on Lake Austin* drinking a Hops and Grain Green House V4 that my butler** just poured for me, I thought maybe I didn’t phrase “pricey” properly.  [*I’m kidding about the big house on the lake.][**Also, no butler here.]

Pic of Hops and Grain Green House IPA

First let’s look at the Banger’s – Avery Beer Pairing Dinner Menu taking place Tuesday, July 8, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
The evening will start by everyone being greeted with a 9oz poor of Avery White Rascal to sip on while everyone arrives. And then the real fun begins.

1st course: We’ll serve up our hancased minerature smokey and the boar sausages, with whole grain mustard, piccalilli, peach preserves, and manchego cheese.
Paired with
1. Avery Karma – Strong Belgium Pale Ale – 5.4% – A decidedly fruity and estery ale, intricate in body and nose, all driven by a unique Belgian yeast strain. Remember, good things DO happen to good people! (not that we’d know)
2. Avery Salvation – Belgium Pale Ale – 9% – Luscious apricot and peach aromas are delicately interwoven with spicy suggestions of nutmeg and cinnamon in this heavenly soft, champagne-like elixir.

2nd Course: Next up is a snapper ceviche with sweetcorn, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, onions and cilantro.  Served with fresh corn tortilla chips.
Paired with:
1. Rufus Corvus – Barrel aged sour ale – 6.83% – An artful and massively acidic blend of two major projects and further enhanced with several orphan barrels from the corners of our barrel aging cellar. All ale involved was barrel aged for a minimum of 8 months and a maximum of 24 months. Pucker up, buttercup!

3rd Course: For the main course we have rasel hount spiced camel sausage, moroccan style couscous, and sesame honey yogurt sauce with feta cheese
Paired with:
1. Avery Samael’s Ale – English Barleywine style – 16.9% – This beer is intense beyond words and should be treated with great care, or you might find yourself under the table. It does little to hide its strength, showing off its bourbonlike aromas with vanilla, toasted wood, and a wallop of alcohol with great pride.  Consider yourself warned.
2. Avery Hog Heaven – American Barleywine – 9.2% – This dangerously drinkable garnet beauty is a hop lover’s delight. The intense dry-hop nose and the alcohol content are perfectly balanced for a caramel candy-like malt backbone. This is a serious beer for serious beer aficionados.

4th Course: Finally for dessert, well be serving up something top secret.
Paired with:
1. Avery Mephistopheles – Imperial Stout – 16.4% – Huge Russian Imperial Stout with  healthy addition of Turbinado sugar. Thick with a rich combination of roast and dark fruit. (5oz poor)
2. Out of Sight – Coffee Stout – 6.3% – Out of Bounds stout with a half-pound of fresh Malawi coffee from The Unseen Bean, whose roastery is just around the corner from the brewery. Normally only available in the taproom, we pried this keg from their cold, dead hands.

8 Beers and 4 Courses. Let’s do some late night “I just had a few beers math”: 8 beers at say $6 avg each is $48 and then another $32 for 4 courses. The $48 might be a little on the low side since both Mephistopheles & Samael’s Ale are at least $10 each if you bought them in a store. Also, assuming you like the courses, you are getting some pretty good food here.

So this by no means is a “rip off” or anything like that.
Still, $85.39 might be too “pricey” for some for one night’s dinner…even with beer. If you are bringing a significant other you are now up to $170.78.

If you love this lineup, then go ahead and grab your tickets here: Banger’s – Avery Beer Pairing Dinner Tickets before they sell out.

Hops & Grain Hi Hat Public House also posted an upcoming beer dinner today that takes place Thursday July 3 with two seating: 6-8pm & 8:30-10:30pm.
Let’s look at that menu:

The cost is $65, and guests may make a reservation either by calling (512) 478-8700 or by stopping by Hi Hat.

First Course
Tuna, compressed melon, saba, basil
Paired with Hops & Grain Pilz Party*

Second Course
Rabbit “meatloaf” with corn creme fraiche, creole sauce
Paired with Hops & Grain ALTeration

Third Course
Potato and herb salad, duck eggs, orange verjus
Paired with Hops & Grain Super Special Independence Day Greenhouse IPA*

Fourth Course
Fried Chicken thigh, pickled okra, cheddar biscuit
Paired with Hops & Grain Red Saison del Roble*

Fifth Course
Salted caramel milk shake, chocolate mousse, pecan crumble, cherry
Paired with Hops & Grain Porter Culture

*First Time Release

3 less beers but one extra course compared to the previous Beer Pairing menu and $15 cheaper.
Definitely not a rip off and obviously more affordable(especially if you are paying for 2 people: $130)

We’d love to hear everyone else’s thoughts on this. Are these prices OK with you or would you like to see some less expensive options too?
Am I “broke and bitching”? Do I need to “live a little”?

Please post your comments!

BTW, This was my beer pairing dinner tonight, and I mean my dinner was literally paired with my beer: Beer Can Chicken with Grapevine Lake Fire 🙂
Pic of Beer Can Chicken on Grill

1 thought on “Are Beer Pairing Dinners Too Expensive?”

  1. Yeah, 83 plus dollars is just to score some more profit from Rainey street audience. They’re doing it because they know they can. Nice article though, and your chicken is very pretty.

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