One day I was mindlessly scrolling through the Instagram suggested pictures/accounts like I sometimes do and I came across a picture that actually made me tap on it. Now I know it doesn’t sound like anything impressive but trust me it is. Unless it’s a picture of beer I rarely even slow down. But this picture captured my attention. It was a long wooden dinner table with smiling people lining each side enjoying each other’s company while waiting for what I assume will be an amazing meal. That in itself was great but the setting is what blew me away. This table was outdoors in an open desert landscape with beautiful mountains in the background. I had to know more so I clicked on the account and saw that it was based out of Arizona. At that moment I was determined to cover at least one of these dinners for the podcast.
I reached out to Cloth & Flame introducing myself and quickly heard back from owner Matt Cooley who seemed just as excited as me to do an episode. I let him know that the podcast is focused on Arizona beer so wanted to make sure I covered an event that included an Arizona brewery. A couple of months later it was announced that Cloth & Flame would be teaming up with Huss Brewing Company and Pig & Pickle would be the food side of things so I jumped at my chance. Game on!
This dinner was located in the Superstition Mountains. Like WAY out there. But when we finally got to the spot I saw why. This place was perfect highlighted by the serene mountain backdrop. The vibe was great and it started with the music. I made sure that Matt knew that his playlist was impressive so much so that I stalked him on Spotify to make sure I could set the same mood at my next dinner party. The long table not only looks cool but it also serves an importance purpose: to create an environment where people can get to know their neighbors. This combined with poor cell phone service was the perfect recipe for a great human experience.
Now let’s get to the food. Holy mother of all that is fantastic. Pig & Pickle served 5 total courses and each was paired with a Huss beer. With each course someone from both Huss and Pig & Pickle would explain what we would be enjoying for that course and why they chose that.
Below is what we all got to enjoy:
- Appetizer - Housemade bratwurst on a pretzel bun with kimchi and mustard. Paired with Joppy Javalina
- Course 1 - Smoked cod with crunchy stuff and pickle. Bloody Mary shooter. Paired with Scottsdale Blonde
- Course 2 - Beer braised pork belly with bacon jam and radish salad. Paired with Alt Amber
- Course 3 - Braised short rib with pastry leek, carrots, and peas au jus. Paired with Ro Sham Beau Double IPA
- Dessert - Chocolate and raspberry crème pie with mesquite syrup and cacao nibs. Paired with Koffee Kolsch
Needless to say this was all amazing. Beer matches so well with food and these guys nailed it. While the food, beer and environment was amazing the best part was interacting with all of the people around you. The food is served family style and you are so close to everyone you have no choice but to interact and get to know your neighbors. Everyone left with new friends. When the evening was almost over they actually turned off all the lights and there we were, in the middle of the Sonoran Desert with no light pollution and the view of the stars was simply breathtaking. What an amazing way to end an always spectacular experience.
Do yourself a favor and follow Cloth & Flame so that you can find an event that allows you to experience what we did. I guarantee you will not have a second of regret.
- Special shout out goes to Alexxis Grant for joining us and taking some awesome pictures. Book her for your next event!
- All video production and huge shoutout goes to Aaron Markus from 8 AM Films for just being awesome and creating amazing work.
- Thanks to Chris Dodson for his awesome production/editing work to help put the audio side of the episodes together.
- Intro/Outro music is "La Negra Tomasa" by the awesome local Arizona band Fayuca
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