Brew. Taste. Gather.
These three words represent the rallying cry that Spoonwood Brewing in Bethel Park has used to establish themselves as a major part of Pittsburgh’s craft beer landscape. In three little words, so many stories can be found. When we get together with those closest to us, it’s not just beer or food or ambiance that makes it happen. It’s all those things combined with a desire to enjoy time with the people we love, establish new relationships with those we meet, and share reactions with fellow humans on a direct level sans smartphones and technology.
On Tuesday, September 29th, a group of craft beer enthusiasts gathered at Spoonwood to experience their first Craft Beer & Food Pairing Dinner. This dinner provided the perfect platform for Spoonwood to showcase their incredible skills in brewing, culinary creation, and exquisite hospitality. The 36 in attendance were treated to anecdotes about Spoonwood’s inception by Founding Partner Grant Scorsone, Spoonwood beer knowledge from Founding Partner and Head Brewer Steve Ilnicki, and detailed descriptions of each entree courtesy of Spoonwood’s Executive Chef Jeffery Simpson.
If you’ve ventured into Spoonwood or discovered one of their taps at your favorite craft beer destinations across Pittsburgh, you’ve gained first-hand knowledge of the quality and uniqueness that results from Steve’s meticulous brewing style. He strives for perfection and works tirelessly to ensure the beer in your glass is of the highest standards and quality.
That philosophy naturally extends to the kitchen. The Spoonwood menu features a variety of gourmet pizza options, as well as other favorites, all kicked up to another level thanks to a dedication to uniqueness and originality from Jeffery and his team.
Tonight’s food menu, and ultimately, the sheer deliciousness and perfection that came from all six courses, is hard to capture in mere words. Simply stated, my palate was turning backflips from appetizer to dessert! Jeffrey has been working with his team at Spoonwood for several months and I overheard him say this dinner was the first chance he got to test their culinary acumen. He was proud of what he and his team accomplished and no one in the crowd could argue what they put together. It was also great to hear how he infused Steve’s beers into various recipes, which is definitely one of the big advantages to being a chef at a craft brewery.
A big thank you goes to Mary Lou Scorsone, who worked extremely hard to ensure this first dinner went off without a hitch. As did General Manager Jordan Miller, Bar Manager Ben Swickline, Todd and Missy on the floor, and the entire kitchen staff. They exemplified the work ethic that makes Spoonwood Brewing such a great place to visit.
A dinner like this doesn’t come together often. But when it does, it’s special. We all wined and dined like kings and queens and shared each other’s company. My table started out as five strangers and, by the end of the evening, concluded with friendships forged, relationships built, and plans for upcoming meetings at Spoonwood already in the works.
Great beer, great food, and great atmosphere are all at the heart of what’s really important: Great people.
Below are some pictures from last night’s dinner, including each menu item and beer pairing. There will be more dinners planned in the future at Spoonwwood and I highly encourage you to be part of them.
But don’t wait until then. Get your friends together, gather at Spoonwood Brewing, and taste everything they have to offer. Today.