It was a full-packed room at the Oktoberfest Weihenstephaner Beer Dinner at Carolina's on Wed. Oct. 27. Chef Jeremiah Bacon and his team offered five hearty courses with five of the finest lagers and wheat beers from the very traditional Weihenstephaner brewery, located in southern Bavaria, Germany.
Charleston Beer Exchange co-owner Scott Shor spoke about the brewery's long history and influential brewing methods and beer styles. Shor usually emcees beer dinners and events that feature wild new styles of beers made with strange ingredients or unconventional fermentation methods, so it was funny to hear him describe such a staunchly conservative batch of German styles.
The first course of house-made bratwurst, paired with the unusually pale and delicate Festbier, was a surprisingly light and flavorful kick-off. Alongside thin slices of house-cured pepperoni, chorizo, saucissons, the breaded pork cake (head cheese) on the charcuterie plate was rich and robust, but it tasted great on the char-grilled bread with a sip of the assertive Vitus Weizenbock. My favorite part of the third course — a local triggerfish dish — was the buttery sauce with the sunchokes and bacon lardons; the crispness of the wheat beer cleansed the taste buds between each bite.
The main course featured a big portion of charred pork tenderloin, which was served, almost rare. Tender and sweet, the molasses glaze on the meat matched the caramel maltiness of the malty Hefeweissbier Dunkel nicely. Dessert offered Bacon's version of a Black Forest cake and German chocolate cake. I enjoyed the contrast of the sharp chocolate flavor with the candy-sweet flavor of the caramel/fruit topping. The burnt-sugar roastiness of the hefty Korbinian Doppelbock complemented it well.