My husband and I discovered ‘The Meddlesome Moth’ about a year and a half ago. Nestled in the Oak Lawn Arts District of Dallas, The Moth has a trendy rock vibe that mixes speciality beers with upscale cuisine. Our first experience was so good that it has caused to go back many, many times and introduce friends and family to the establishment.
The Moth has a large, modern patio area as well as a main dining area with a couple dozen tables. The kitchen is open to the restaurant, and located next to the long bar top complete with dozens of beers on tap and in the bottle (they do offer a great selection of wine for those of you who don’t like beer). Above the taps is a long chalkboard where the beers are listed. To the left of the bar is a private dining table that seats up to 12 people.
This week at The Moth is April Ale Week, a week dedicated to the craft beer industry. Each evening is dedicated to a different craft brewery. On Tuesday, April 5th we attended the SKA brewery dinner.
SKA is a craft brewery in Durango, Colorado. The brewers started home-brewing at the age of 16, because trying to get beer in the stores at that age was getting them into too much trouble. A few years and dozens of homebrew’s later, SKA brewery opened.
The brewery dinner was to include five tastings of SKA brew with food parings. Bill Graham, co-founder and head of brewing operations, flew to Dallas to host the dinner. We knew we would have a great time, but the evening exceeded our expectations.
After a warm-up beer in the bar we were seated at the table for the event. The event was very intimate, set for no more than 18 guests. Bill Graham introduced himself and served a ‘surprise’ beer; The Toaster!
The Toaster is a black IPA made with “Toast” with a very prominent espresso flavor. It was created in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Ska band ‘The Toasters.’ The beer is not sold in stores, so it was a real treat for us to say that we got to try it. We were given a complimentary Toaster pint glass to take home as well. The Toaster was a great beginning to the evening.
After toasting with The Toaster we began our five-course beer tasting with food pairings. We all talked with Bill Graham the entire meal. Questions were asked from many different people, including my husband and myself, and brewing stories were told. A menu was placed at each seat to take beer tasting notes.
- Beer: The True Blonde had a clear hazelnut appearance with a light, nutty, and honey aroma and flavor. It was crisp with a bitter hop finish. (Brewed with honey).
- The Halibut Cheeks were divine! The fish was cooked perfectly with a slight firmness to it, it melted in your mouth like butter. The leek tartare brought some freshness to the dish.
Together, they were the perfect pairing. The crisp blonde toned down the richness of the fish.
Second Course: SKA Pinstripe Red, Smashed Beet Salad w/ Purple Haze & Maple Dressing
- Beer: A clear auburn appearance with a subtle sweet aroma. It has a smooth maltiness that leads into a spicy kick. (One of my favorite beers of the evening).
- I LOVE beets! Therefore, I really enjoyed the dish. The mix of golden and red beets were slighty sweet. As always with beets, the goat cheese garnish added a wonderful tartness.
Third Course: SKA Modus Hoperandi IPA, Tikka Masala Roast Chicken & Jasmine Rice
- Beer: A slightly hazy, brownish red beer, with a sweet grassy aroma. Great smell! This beer, brewed with dry hops in an outdoor fermentor, is very bitter and hoppy.
- The Tikka Masala was fabulous but my least favorite course of the evening. The yogurt based sauce did pair well with the IPA emphasizing the spice.
Fourth Course: SKA Decadent Imperial IPA, Pork Tenderloin ‘Schnitzel’ w/ Jalapeno Corn Bread Crust & Spiced Apple Butter
- Beer: A hazy redish beer with a sweet smoky froth. Creamy! Sweet! Hops!
- I do NOT like pork! However, I really enjoyed the ‘Schnitzel’ and ate most of it. The giant serving was perfectly crispy. I wanted a gallon of the apple butter to pour on top of it. Yum! The apple butter brought out the sweetness in the IPA.
Fifth Course: SKA Nefarious Ten Pin Porter Cask-Conditioned, The Sundae w/ Salted Caramel, Banana & Spanish Peanuts
- A dark beer made with cocoa ‘nibs’ from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Felt like caramel in your mouth with a bitter cherry and coffee flavor.
- I am a sweets lover but I could have done without this. While I appreciated its simplicity and creativity, it was too rich. It needed more ice cream to tone it down.
Overall we had a great evening of food, beer, and conversation with the brewer. The Moth was the perfect host for the dinner. The manager and owner stopped by periodically to ensure everything was perfect and we were enjoying ourselves.
I learned two things about SKA brewery that make me like them even more:
- They are SCOOTER people, and I am a scooter girl! The True Blonde beer label has a women riding a scooter, and all the brewers are scooter owners.
- They are fans of the prohibition era, whereas I am quite OBSESSED with the prohibition era!
My kind of brewery! Now all they need to do is brew a wheat or wit beer!