Bathtub Brewhouse Collaboration
You GUYS. Why can’t I have unlimited funds that allow me to pay all my bills while I cook and help
drink brew beer all day, every day? I can’t understand why this isn’t happening for me. Shouldn’t money just fall out of the sky for all of us? What kind of world are we living in where this doesn’t happen?!
Last weekend, I did my first ever food and beer collaboration with two of my great friends, Willie and Ray, who are home brewers for Bathtub Brewhouse. Let me pause for a second and explain this Willie conundrum since I confused the entire city of Marietta last weekend. Willie’s name is actually Jonathan William. My family and maybe 2.2 other people in the world call him Willie. I’ve known Willie my entire life and that’s what I’ve always called him. There’s no way I can address him as Jonathan, it’s just too weird. (Does this sound familiar, Johnny Hume?) So, each time I referenced him last weekend, I confused everybody because they were looking for a guy named Jonathan. Please allow this to serve as my public apology for causing any unnecessary incertitude. And yes, this explanation was very needed for those wondering why I’ve verbosely gone into this detail.
We all know that I love food. If you’re a regular reader of my site, then you know that I also love beer. A lot. When I was home for Christmas last year, I was visiting with Willie and Ray and they were telling me all about the beer tasting that they’d recently held and what brews they’d been doing. The three of us agreed that it would be really fun to do a collaborative tasting where I’d create a menu to pair specifically with their beers. Over the next couple of months, we got serious about it, set a date and got the ball rolling.
I’ve been pretty absent from this site lately and not by choice. I’ve had a crazy summer with lots of travel on top of preparing for the tasting so I haven’t been cooking for fun much since June. I have a couple of more trips planned and then I’ll be back, I promise! For now, I wanted to share details about the tasting because it was such an incredible night and experience.
I was nervous, I ain’t gonna lie. We were expecting around 120 people and I was doing all of the food on my own. It’s already difficult not cooking in your own kitchen so traveling to do so adds a whole new level of stress. There’s the packing of tools, spices, aprons, specialty salts, the ‘good’ maple syrup… It’s a feat just getting where you need to be before any cooking has even started. I made a commitment to myself that I’d be very well organized beforehand and I was. I think that saved my life. Additionally, my mom saved my sanity by pitting cherries which would’ve been the thing to send me over the edge.
Beer also really helped.
There’s nothing like market fresh Georgia peaches. Holy moly. Major props to Red Brick too for that bomb IPA. I was kicking myself for not using it to braise these onions in below for the French onion dip.
I cooked for two and half days. I haven’t done that amount of work since culinary school and dude, I don’t miss my back hurting in places I didn’t know existed on my body. It was so worth it though.
Instead of the 120 that we were expecting, over 200 people came and we tapped every drop of the 8 beers that Willie and Ray brewed. Not a bite of food was left, people were raving about every detail (including the tap wall that Willie built and installed himself!) and it was genuinely a fantastic night. I wish so much in instances like this that you could bottle and save the energy, passion, happiness, joy and delight that we all felt. I love this photo below so much because this is exactly the moment that Willie and I finally slowed down, hugged each other and exclaimed we really did it! and I think it shows all over our faces.
We pulled off a massive amount of work in nine million degree heat (what the hell were we thinking doing this in AUGUST in GEORGIA, Willie?!) with smiles on our faces the whole time. THAT’S when you know you’re doing what you love. Combining shared passions with people that live for the same things you do is really moving and touches your soul in a place nothing else quite reaches. The dream is very much alive of making Bathtub Brewhouse into a brick and mortar reality so this event really stoked that fire.
There are lots of people to thank but I owe so much of the food success to my sweet mom and dear friends, Ami and Virgil. Each of them sweated their balls off in the kitchen refreshing my food plates all evening and I couldn’t have done it without them. Mom, you get extra high praise since I’m pretty sure your fingers are still stained red with cherry juice. I couldn’t have chosen a better sous chef though, that’s for sure.
Cheers to a job well done, a remarkable event and a spirited evening full of life, energy and passion. Now, if only I can figure out how to get money to fall from the sky so I can do this all the time.