Sponsored Post: We were invited to attend this event, but opinions are 100% our own.
Pizza and beer are a culinary match made in heaven, especially when you combine the delicious hand spun Neapolitan style pizzas from Spin! Neapolitan and the craft beers of Omaha’s Infusion Brewing Company. We were invited to take part in a special dinner event held at Spin’s Papillion location that offered a pizza and beer pairing dinner with Infusion Brewing. Spin regularly hosts special themed dinners, often featuring local vendors to showcase some of the great products that Spin uses.Spin! strives to make as much of their dishes in house and from local sources, so having strong local partners is very important. For more about Spin!, check out our post here that explored their full menu!
Infusion Brewing Company was started in 2013 by Bill Baburek, owner of Omaha’s Crescent Moon, which is the largest craft beer bar in Omaha and one of the biggest advocates for locally brewed beer. Located in historic Benson, Infusion Brewing is housed in a former butcher shop that was originally built in 1917, with all the beer brewed on site in their fully restored building. While still a young brewery, they are rapidly gaining a reputation as a brewery that craft beer fans love.
The Infusion Brewing dinner featured five courses with each course pairing one of Infusion’s craft beer offerings with a course selected to showcase the unique aspects of each brew. We started out the meal with a first course of Spin’s Rosemary Flatbread topped with white bean hummus paired with Infusion’s Vanilla Bean Blonde ale. The rosemary flatbread is made from Spin’s delicious pizza crust, hand spun and stretched thin with a delicious golden crust, and then drizzled with rosemary infused olive oil. The hummus was warm and mild and pleasantly earthy, which paired up well with the Vanilla Bean Blonde. The Vanilla Bean Blonde was one of our favorites of the evening, very clean and crisp with hints of the vanilla beans used in the brewing process. Slightly sweet, this beer was very smooth, with no bitterness.
Our second course was a pairing of Spin’s Caesar salad with Infusion’s Radial IPA. The Caesar salad had fresh greens tossed with house-made farmhouse croutons and shaved grana padana and Spin!’s fresh made Caesar dressing, which is a really excellent Caesar dressing that has just the right balance of saltiness and tang, while being strong enough to stand up to the Radial IPA. The Radial IPA is Infusion’s take on a classic West Coast beer, boldly hoppy and fragrant with a nice light golden color. The big hop flavor makes this slightly bitter, but in a refreshing way that really popped when combined with the saltiness of the Caesar and grana padana.
Our next two courses brought the real stars of Spin!’s menu into play, with their Goat cheese and Arugula Classico and the BBQ Di Pollo and Pineapple pizzas. Spin!’s Neapolitan pizzas start with the fantastic crusts, which are a delightful combination of crusty exteriors with light and airy interior. Spin! makes sure the toppings on their pizzas are top notch, and the freshness of the toppings makes the flavors really pop. The Goat cheese and Arugula Classico was paired up with the Rule 16 Rye Pale Ale, a orange hued beer that uses rye in the mash bill to bring a spicy note to a classic pale ale.
The BBQ Di Pollo was our favorite pairing of the evening, with this fantastic pizza paired up with our favorite beer of the evening, the Dominican Brown Ale, a dark beer that uses coffee, chocolate and vanilla bean from the Dominican Republic. The staff of Infusion Brewing had traveled to the DR to get some inspiration about other beer styles, and when brew staff fell in love with the warm, rich ingredients they came back and brewed up a special batch that ended up being so popular it was added to Infusion’s regular brews. Smooth and malty with a rich coffee and chocolate flavor, the Dominican Brown Ale was the perfect pairing with the BBQ Di Pollo Pizza.
The BBQ Di Pollo features a bbq sauce made by Kansas City’s Roasterie Coffee on the chicken and a peppery sweet bbq sauce from the famous Gates BBQ as the sauce, and the combination of the two sauces makes a for a complexly flavorful pizza when combined with the sweet roasted pineapple. The coffee notes of the Roasterie sauce and the coffee and chocolate of the Dominican Brown Ale paired up perfectly, making this our favorite course. It is easy to see why both items are some of the most popular at Spin! and Infusion!
Any meal at Spin! should always end with one of their gelato selections, and for our final course a cup of a chocolate gelato was paired up with Infusion’s Camaraderie Blood Orange Imperial Ale. The gelato at Spin! is made in the same fashion as traditional Italian gelato, and this selection is a special gelato that features a dense and creamy dark chocolate base with chunks of fudge from Michigan’s Mackinac Island. Indulgently rich, the bittersweet chocolate finished up the meal with a satisfyingly sweet finish.
Pairing up with the gelato, the Camaraderie Blood Orange Imperial Ale uses 35 pounds of blood oranges and bright citrusy hops to bring a citrus bite to this IPA. Originally brewed as a collaboration with Odell Brewing of Fort Collins, the Camaraderie packs big flavor and a hearty bite traditionally found in an IPA, but with a bit more of a citrus note.
The dinner was a great time, and an experience that we would recommend folks who like great pizza. Be sure to check out their upcoming special events and be sure to let them know The Gastonom sent you!
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