Cascade Lakes Brewing Produces a Meal to Remember
Bend Oregon has become a beer hot spot for any hop connoisseur. With over 27 breweries to choose from, there seems to be a flavor and experience for any palate. Last week, we were able to have a fun and unique dining experience at one of our favorite brew stops, Cascade Lakes.
Founded in 1994, Cascade Lakes Brewing has its origins in Redmond, Oregon. Over 25 years later, the brewery has greatly expanded its brewing system and also has added "The Lodge,",our go-to weekend stop in Bend, Oregon on the way to Mt. Bachelor. On our most recent visit, Cascade Lakes offered an exclusive, 30 ticket only event for a 5 course beer pairing which was called "Beer and Bites." Based on teaser photos leaked on social media, this looked as though it promised to be a cornucopia of flavors.
The event was held in the upstairs space at Cascade Lakes. Normally adorned with dart boards and a pool table, the upstairs was instead set up with several communal tables covered with black table clothes and fun hops decor. We were greeted with a great menu, allowing us to see the wonderful food and beer we had in store, and got to try an IPA which was exclusively brewed for the event while munching down on some smoked nuts. This IPA featured a much lighter hop than typically used in Pacific NW IPAs and was a great starting beer for this event. We think this beer should be on the full time beer list!
Once all the guests had arrived, we were greeted by the brew master and head chef for a few words and finally got to begin on our outstanding starter, some fried goat cheese balls atop fresh greens and hazelnut pesto. The balance of the fried goat cheese and greens was absolute perfection and the touch of hazelnut pesto beneath it all had our taste buds singing. This starter was paired with the Elk Camp IPA and it was a perfect pairing in our books.
Just when we thought things could not get any better, we were graced with a marinated wagyu sirloin rolled in some super flaky puff pastry and pairs with two outstanding sauces. The only complaint about this dish is we were all itching for more! Pairing this with the tried and true Hopsmack IPA made this appetizer a perfect second course.
Thankfully these dishes were on the smaller side because we still had three courses to go! Next we had the most lovely looking salad placed in front of us along with a nitro red ale that was as smooth as it sounds. A grilled radicchio had a wonderful bitter flavor that paired very well with the richness of grilled avocado and the sweetness of the honey balsamic glaze and brandy craisins. Although not as exciting as the wagyu, this dish was a nice break from the heavy prior course and helped to prepare us for the outstanding main course!
Our main course for the evening was a beer braised rib with a fried polenta cake and demi-glace. Although we were getting full by this point, not a bite of this entree was left uneaten. The ribs were perfectly cooked and literally fell right off the bone. The side polenta cake was a wonderful pairing to the rich rib and to add to the flavor waterfall we were experiencing with every bite we took, we also got to have a cask conditioned ale that was not yet officially finished so only was titled "Barrel #10". This beer absolutely gave us the flavors of the barrel it came from and we hope to see some small batches of this beer in the future at the pubs.
Just when we thought we couldn't eat another bite, out came a lovely Salter Caramel Porter whipped mousse topped with raspberries and mint. This delectable dish was so mouth watering that we need the recipe! Perfectly paired with the coffee notes of the Secret Weapon Stout, this was a match made in Heaven!
We couldn't believe that such a wonderful dinner came from the kitchen of a brew pub, but we are so glad it did. We can't wait for the next one!
-The Foodies of Bend Premier
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