When I profiled Elli Benchimol at AGAINN a few weeks ago, she mentioned a barley wine dinner was in the works. It’s now set for Monday, February 22 at 7pm. Reservations are required at $75 per person, which will get you four courses paired to this storied ale. The food alone sounds pretty tempting – Shallow Poached Loch Duart Salmon, Braised Hereford Beef Cheeks, Lincolnshire Poacher Cheddar Cheese, and Gianduja Chocolate Tart. Um, yes to rich deliciousness on a chilly night.
But wait, barley wine = ale? Indeed, this is one of those confusing situations like when vegetables are really fruit. Barley wine, also sometimes known as old ale, originated in nineteenth century England and can reach an alcohol strength of 8 to 12%. So it can be as strong as wine, but because it’s made from grain instead of fruit, it’s really an ale.
But don’t worry, Jeff Wells from DOPS Distributors (DC’s beer guru) will be on hand that night to help explain the pairings and the history of barley wine. Call AGAINN for reservations at 202.639.9830.