Wynwood Night Time Graffiti Tour

I recently went to an event in Wynwood thrown by Goose Island Beer Company. After it was over, Ed Roberts and I walked over to Wynwood Brewing for a beer (and back). I took a lot of pictures of the graffiti since I had never been in the area before. I know, I’m probably the first person to post a bunch of these pictures, right?

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Sprung! Beer Festival 2014

This past weekend was the Sprung! Beer Festival in Coconut Grove. Next year make sure you are there too! Here is a little more detailed recap on DailyBeerReview.com.

 

 

 

Cochon 555 Miami 2014

Goose Island Beer Company welcomed hundreds of guests to The Four Seasons Hotel and Cochon 555 this past Sunday afternoon. Cochon 555 is a tour that celebrates the sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs. Five chefs, Five pig breeds, Five wineries.  A cooking competition between five local chefs was the centerpiece of the event, but there were plenty of other activities and stations to check out.

My wife and I started with the Goose Island “Goose Nest” where the brewery paired two of its vintage ales with Foie Gras and other Duck items. But the rest of the event was focused on the pigs. Chefs Aaron Brooks, Conor Hanlon, Bradley Herron, Dena Marino and Jose Mendin each made five or six dishes for the guests to try. They were scattered throughout the banquet hall with other areas of interest to visit in between.

One of my personal favorites was “The Perfect Manhattan” station which was serving up terrific cocktails made with Templeton Rye and a few other terrific bourbons. There was a “Pop-Up Butcher Shop” where one of the pigs was butchered in a demonstration benefiting Johnson & Wales University. The butchered pig was sold on the spot. Oh yeah, and before the pig was cut up, the dudes from Miami Ink tattooed it with a Cochon 555 themed piece of art!

A cocktail competition called Punch Kings was another very popular spot. Five drinks using Breckenridge Bourbon were created for everyone to try. There were cheese stations, oysters, killer Prosciutto by Prosciutto di Parma, and several wineries. I did not miss the opportunity to sip on some Four Roses Bourbon either.

In the end, Chef Jose Mendin from Pub Belly prevailed as the winning “Prince of Porc!”

Great event! Can’t wait for next year.

Goose Island Beer Company Presents Cochon 555 at Four Seasons Miami

photo (12)Just cracked open a beer and poured it into my Goose Island beer glass. I know you think that’s just me lying for a good segue into this article, which is precisely why I took a picture to prove it to you!

OK, so seriously, I’ll be going to the Cochon 555 event on Sunday. And it’s going to kick ass! Read about the event, the chefs, the bourbon below. After the event, I’ll be posting pictures, entertaining commentary (duh), and whatever else I can think of. Since Goose Island is going out of their way to show you how to pair their vintage line of beers (which I adore) with all the pork, I’ll be talking about that part of the evening on my DailyBeerReview.com site. Tickets are still available. Click the link above to go to the event page if you’d like to purchase them. And heck, you see what I look like, so say hello! I’ll be the guy with the hot 40 something chick!

Four Seasons Miami, Host Venue
February 9th, 2014

COCHON US TOUR & GOOSE ISLAND BEER CO. HUMBLY PRESENT COCHON555. Over 11 tons of heritage pork raised by family farms will be served across the country in a nose-to-tail touring culinary competition. Going on its sixth year, Cochon 555 is the nation’s premier culinary tour touting the flavor and health benefits of eating heritage breed pigs. The kickoff event features an all-star lineup of five chefs, five pigs and five wineries to celebrate breed diversity and family farming. A panel of 20 expert judges and guests of the event will vote for the city’s “Prince or Princess of Porc.”

This year’s competing chefs include Jose Mendin of The Pubbelly Group, Conor Hanlon of The Dutch, Bradley Herron of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Aaron Brooks of EDGE Steak & Bar and Dena Marino of MC Kitchen. The five chefs, champions to the pig, will battle it out in a friendly competition by preparing a maximum of six dishes each created from one whole heritage breed pig to win votes from a crowd of hungry gourmands and celebrated judges. Jason Pringle of db Bistro Moderne will also prepare a feature sixth pig.

Host Chef Aaron Brooks, Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Miami, will lead the pack of judges in selecting Miami’s “Prince of Porc.” Other notable judges include David Thomas from The Bazaar by Jose Andres, Timon Balloo of Bocce Bar and Chef Norman Van Aken following the release of his new book, No Experience Necessary. The winner will go on to compete in the Grand Cochon at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in June for bragging rights as the “King or Queen of Porc” and a four-day wine experience to Rioja, Spain’s most prominent wine region.

“Heritage Breed Pigs celebrate the history of the animal and this humane treatment is something all chefs should be behind,” states Jose Mendin. “I grew up on an island where this practice is normal and eating pig is an essential part of the culture, so it just seems the only way to me. As for the event, I’m so excited to compete, I can barely stand it. Such a great line-up of chefs; I’m eager to see what everyone puts out. Game on.”

A 1200+ pound showcase of heritage pig carved into 30 chef-prepared dishes will also include: “The Goose Nest,” an area featuring the Vintage Ales of Goose Island Beer Co. paired with Hudson Valley Foie Gras; live butchering demonstration at the Pop-Up Butcher Shop with Thomas Griese of Michael Mina 74, benefitting Johnson & Wales University with the support of Williams-Sonoma; different ages of Prosciutto di Parma ranging between 14 and 30 months, sliced by a roaming Berkel and by hand off a bone-in leg; the “Punch Kings” cocktail competition featuring five local barkeeps presented by Breckenridge Bourbon; a welcome cocktail from Four Roses Bourbon; the Bourbon Bar presented by Breadcrumb by Groupon featuring Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Breckenridge Bourbon, Hirsch, Templeton Rye and Luxardo; libations including Crispin Cider, Wines of Rioja, Elk Cove Vineyards, Barlow Vineyards, and a Mezcal Bar with Fidencio and Mezcales de Leyenda; a TarTare Bar featuring Creekstone Farms; an artisan cheese bar with Rogue Creamery and La Brea Bakery; Swine & Sweets signature dessert course featuring Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.

Defending his title from last year, Host Chef Aaron Brooks will kick off the weekend on Friday night with a guest chef dinner at EDGE Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons. Event judges include David Thomas from The Bazaar by Jose Andres, Timon Balloo of Bocce Bar and Chef Norman Van Aken following the release of his new book, No Experience Necessary.

“I’m passionate about promoting food sources that support a more natural, sustainable food system,” explains Brady Lowe, founder of Cochon 555. “For the first time ever, I am very pleased to welcome Goose Island Beer Co. into the family of events as a presenting sponsor of the 2014 U.S. Tour. One event cannot change the system, but together we can celebrate the chefs and farmers who continue to tilt the scales back towards responsibly grown food.”

The COCHON 555 event is 100% inclusive and always on Sunday.

Tickets for Cochon 555 events are $125 (general admission) and $200 (VIP). GENERAL ADMISSION price includes over 30 dishes prepared from the entirety of heritage breed pigs from nose to tail, paired with premium wines, brews and spirits. Both ticket prices includes endless drink and tons of food. GA starts at 5pm. VIP starts at 4pm, and includes one-hour early access to all the food (premium access to limited experiences like Punch Kings, wines and spirits), a chance to hang with the celebrity chefs, judges and media. Everyone is invited to the After Party at Edge Steakhouse, as always.

This epic porc event is over 1200 pounds of heritage pig packed with 100% flavor! Please keep in mind we sell about 60% of tickets before the complete event details are ever released, so if you like what you see, we suggest not waiting so buy a ticket. If you are interested in being a sponsor of Cochon, please contact us.

“I’m passionate about promoting food sources that support a more natural, sustainable food system,” explains Brady Lowe, founder of Cochon 555. “For the first time ever, I am very pleased to welcome Goose Island Beer Co. into the family of events as a presenting sponsor of the 2014 U.S. Tour. One event cannot change the system, but together we can celebrate the chefs and farmers who continue to tilt the scales back towards responsibly grown food.”

Where: Four Seasons Miami Hotel
1435 Brickell Avenue, Miami, Florida 33131, USA
When: Sunday 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

Stache Opens in Ft. Lauderdale with a Visit from the Ardbeg Rocket

Saturday evening marked the opening of Stache, a bar in Ft. Lauderdale with a 1920′s speakeasy theme. The grand opening featured a visit from the Ardbeg Rocket, currently touring to celebrate the launch of some of its Scotch into space back in 2011. We were given the opportunity to sample four different Ardbeg Scotches as well as a few cocktails. The brand’s Consumer Development Manager Trisha Cancilla also made a presentation about the different products.

The bar was full of models dressed like astronauts in addition to all the employees in their 1920′s attire. I got to put on goggles and get a space gun for a studio portrait, too. In the end, my favorite Scotches were the Ardbeg Galileo, finished in Marsala casks, and Ardbeg Uigeadail, finished in Sherry casks.

The bar was beautiful. Two floors with great decorations. Very roomy and comfortable with a big back yard as well. Live music played. Great theme. Bar Stache is located at 109 SW 2nd Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312, just south of Broward Blvd. If you go soon, you may see that the sign hasn’t been updated yet and still reflects the former tenant, Himmie Health Club. That’s the right place though!

Third Annual Grovetoberfest

Yesterday, the Third Annual Grovetoberfest took place at Peacock Park in Coconut Grove. Grovetoberfest is dubbed “Miami’s Beer Festival” and I must say they nailed it! Lots of beer, and beer from great breweries, local and national. You can read my recap on my DailyBeerReview.com blog, but I wanted to share my collection of beer t-shirt photos with you here.

Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum Launch

Mount Gay Rum had a party at the Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne two nights ago. I was in attendance with one of my friends and bumped into a few notable names. Let’s start with my bosses from Soul of Miami, James and Annette. James only wanted to know if I could be backup with the pics since his camera is on the fritz. I’ve got you covered, James!

No rum event is complete without an appearance by Rob Burr, and this was no exception. Rob let us know that this new Black Barrel Rum was a return to fine Barbados rum from a distiller that has a long history doing just that.  Oh, and the rum was really good too.

Hope you like my photos! I love you guys!

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Photo by Mitchell Zachs

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