Charleston summers are not for the faint hearted. To combat the humidity-laden summer malaise, the Middleton Place Restaurant is presenting a new beer dinner. Hot Nights & Holy City will pair summer seasonal beers from Charleston's Holy City Brewing with summer seasonal dishes from the restaurant. The event is scheduled for 6-9 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 25 in the air-conditioned Middleton Place Pavilion.
In January, the Middleton Place Restaurant hosts the annual Braise & Brew event, which pairs expertly-crafted dishes of heavy, smoky, braised meats and vegetables designed to warm the soul with Holy City Brewing's dark winter beer collection. Hot Nights & Holy City seeks to create the opposite: light, fresh, grilled meats, and vegetables from the on-site Middleton Place Organic Farm, paired with Holy City's summer beer collection, and set in one of the most beautiful historic properties in Charleston.
"It's seriously hot outside. But that doesn't mean we can't celebrate the season with some incredible local beer, local food and a few good friends," says Micah Garrison, director of food and beverage for Middleton Place. "Summer is a particularly good beer-drinking season, and we've designed a menu to complement Holy City's best summer stock."
The evening will open with Holy City Pilsner as the welcome beer. As guests mingle and find their seats, the 5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) brew will help limber up the mood. The first flagship beer in the brewery's arsenal, Holy City Pilsner is a traditional Bohemian-style pilsner with significantly amped-up hops, adding a sharp bite to an already crisp beer.
The first course pairs a pickled shrimp salad (with sheep's milk feta, Sea Island peas, and arugula) with Holy City's newest offering: 50 Shades of Green Double IPA. The 9.0 ABV imperial pale uses 50 lbs. of dry hops including Citra, Amarillo, and Sorachi Ace, which give a seriously irresistible aroma to the finished beer. For course two, Chef Brandon Buck has prepared a house-cured Chester White heritage pork belly with savory cornbread, and peach preserves. This will be paired with another Holy City one-off: Smoked Jalapeno Pluff Mud Porter. Holy City's year-round, 5.5 ABV American porter gets the south-of-the-border treatment with the addition of locally grown jalapenos smoked in-house.
For the third course, Buck is bringing out the Southern comfort food, offering the Middleton Place Restaurant's famous fried chicken, house-made buttermilk honey biscuit and coleslaw. This will be paired with Holy City's Slanted Porch Pale Ale, a 5.2 ABV pale designed to have a slightly different hop profile with each batch. This particular turn is batch #8, brewed on July 25, 2013 and hopped with the Falconers Flight and Citra varieties. Course four will follow: coffee-rubbed venison with cherries, topped with Middleton Place cane syrup harvested and pressed on site at last year's Plantation Days. The venison will be paired with bourbon barrel-aged Bowens Island Oyster Stout, a light, airy, 6.0 ABV stout brewed with Bowen's Island oysters that impart the rich, roasted stout with a silky mouthfeel and hint of brine.
The dessert course will pair house-churned rum ice cream and a coconut cookie with Holy City Scratch, an alcohol-free traditional root beer made with a cane sugar and molasses base, vanilla, wintergreen, sasparilla, birch bark, and licorice. A dash of Summit hops is added to bring a little bitterness to the beverage.
Holy City chief brewer Chris Brown says the winter beer dinner has set the bar high, and he has equally high expectations for Hot Nights & Holy City. "Braise & Brew is one of the best beer dinners I've ever attended," he says. "I expect the summer edition will be equally spectacular."
Local musical genius Graham Whorley will provide the evening's soundtrack. The cost is $75 per person, which includes gratuity. Hot Nights & Holy City attendees are entitled to 10 percent off their room rate at the Inn at Middleton Place that night. Tickets to Hot Nights & Holy City can be purchased by HERE, or by calling 556-6020. Reservations to the Inn at Middleton Place can be made by calling 556-0500.