Friday evening was dark, damp and dreary so we treated ourselves to an evening at The CastleGrove Country House Hotel, outside Letterkenny on the way to Ramelton for their Kinnegar Beer Pairing Dinner.
Hurrying in from the rain we positioned ourselves in front of the open log fire in the Yellow Drawing room. It wasn’t long before Aoife our waitress had taken a drinks order at our table and we were sipping on some Jameson and ginger with a fresh squeeze of lime and some Dry Martinis ( which were poured at the table). CastleGrove House has the most welcoming atmosphere and attentive staff.
After a short time General Manager Karoline Sweeney escorted each group to the dining room one by one, where we joined special guests for the evening, Rick LeVert and Libby Carton of Kinnegar Brewing. When all the guests had been seated, Rick spoke briefly about Kinnegar and its influence on the menu for the evening as well as the different styles of beers that we were about to sample.
First course of the evening was a Krumpelnest Beer Battered Oyster with Oyster Emulsion, served with a small glass of Krumpelnest, a German Pilsner style of beer.
Second course was Big Bunny Onion Soup with Sourdough Croutons served with a glass of the East Coast style IPA, Big Bunny.
Pan Seared Halibut, with Lobster Tortellini and Bucket Brigade Glazed Chicken Wing, was our third course of the evening. Naturally this was paired with a glass of the Red Rye IPA Bucket Brigade.
Course number four consisted of 16 Hour Swingletree Slow Braised Beef Cheeks, Smoked Garlic, Mushrooms and Shallots washed down with a glass of the Farmhouse Saison Style Beer Swingletree.
I deliberately ate only half this last course as I wanted to leave room for dessert. Dessert came in the form of Coco Joe Coffee, Malt and Pecan Cake with Coffee and Malt Ice – Cream and served with our last beer of the evening, Coco Joe. This beer is an American Porter style beer with notes of coffee and coconut which went perfectly with the dessert.
As the evening drew to a close and the winds blew outside we allowed for one more nightcap by the fire, although I think we would’ve found any excuse to stay and enjoy the warmth and ambiance of CastleGrove Country House just a little bit longer.
The CastleGrove regularly host amazing events. Keep an eye on their social media to keep up to date with any upcoming events or news https://www.facebook.com/castlegrove1695/?ref=br_rs