Vermont Creamery Chèvre Gnocchi: 3 Pairings

Table Mates by | Nov 2015 | Issue #106

At Hotel Vermont’s Juniper Bar in Burlington, chef Doug Paine brings local and seasonal ingredients to life with refined yet beer-friendly menu options like chèvre gnocchi. These pillowy handmade dumplings are browned in Vermont Creamery cultured butter and sautéed with freshly foraged wild mushrooms, including matsutake, lobster, chanterelle and porcini, roasted Jerusalem artichokes, black truffles and herbs from the hotel’s garden. It’s a rich, quintessentially Northeastern fall dish that pairs well with selections from beer concierge Matt Canning’s favorite local breweries.

Arthur | 6.0% ABV
Hill Farmstead Brewery
The funky farmhouse yeast in this Saison evokes the earthy mushrooms and herbs, while lemon and unripe green apple notes slice through the cream and browned butter. Like all of brewmaster Shaun Hill’s sought-after beers, the mouthfeel is delicate and the flavors unified. Arthur also prevails on the palate between bites, pairing with food as a natural wine would.

Gose | 4.5% ABV
Lost Nation Brewing
With outstanding natural carbonation, this Gose crackles on the palate, replacing all remnants of the flavorful dish with a perfectly restrained dose of salt, lemon and coriander. The gnocchi’s seasonings offer a counterpoint to the beer’s saltiness, leaving a tartness that brightens the rich cream and enhances the nutty sunchokes.

Focal Banger | 7.0% ABV
The Alchemist Brewery
Focal Banger’s citrus and tropical nose is undoubtedly that of a Vermont IPA, with subtle traces of onion bagel on the palate and a finish that’s devoid of bitterness. However, alongside the sweetness of cultured butter, truffle and tangy chèvre, Focal Banger displays both malt character and bitterness. Tropical aromas persist, but it is the beer’s bitter-savory profile that contrasts with the bold-rustic gnocchi.