Pints & Plates

Bay 13’s Elevated Beer-Paired Dinners

As we sat soaking up the sunset on the outdoor patio along Alhambra Circle, we chatted with an intimate and wide-ranging group. Under normal circumstances, we might never have crossed paths or acknowledged each other given our differences, but that night our eclectic company came together to share a four-course meal.

What brought us here was Bay 13 Brewery and Kitchen’s beer-paired dinner, held every first and third Tuesday of the month. Each dinner has its own theme — ours was “cocktail party” with a seafood focus, a menu thought up and executed by Chef Diego Armendaris. Each course comes with its own house-brewed beer, courtesy of Bay 13’s Head Brewer Greg Berbusse and Assistant Brewer Cole Janssen, both of whom joined us for the meal.

Two handws holding up pints of light-colored beer in an outside patio during a beer-paired dinner.

Staying true to Bay 13’s Australian roots, our first course was Oysters Kilpatrick, an Australian dish consisting of slightly broiled oysters topped with bacon and Worcestershire sauce. The combination of the smokiness from the bacon and a hint of spice complemented the crispy brown oyster, but what took the flavor over the edge was the grilled lemon, generously squeezed to activate the tastebuds. The plate was served on top of ice, family-style, giving everyone the opportunity to go back for seconds — or, in my case, thirds.

The accompanying beer, a Bamberg Marzen Rauchbier aptly named “Alhambra Honey,” was brewed in collaboration with the Coral Gables Art Cinema. The smooth beech smoke and toasted malt character reinforced the charred flavoring of the dish. As we shared a pint with brewer Berbusse, he shared the not-so-secret ingredient: local honey.

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For the second course, we were served one of the brewery’s staples: “Old Man.” This German Hefeweizen’s flavor profile of banana and cloves comes from the fermentation process of the yeast. The name originates from Berbusse’s journey perfecting the brew; he spent two years working on the recipe, taking each new batch home to enjoy with his grandfather.

To say Chef Diego is an artist is an understatement. His smoked salmon causa, a traditional Peruvian potato cake, was almost too beautiful to dig into. This thick yet creamy dish’s potato base is layered with avocado and smoked salmon, then topped with pickled eggs, beets, and salmon caviar.

Beer-paired dinner at Bay 13
Chef Diego’s smoked salmon causa is an elevated version of the traditional Peruvian potato cake.

After the causa, I thought the meal couldn’t get better. But I was wrong. Our main course, inspired by the chef ’s Ecuadorian roots, was a juicy clam ceviche with generous amounts of lime and toasted corn, topped with a slice of grapefruit. As I tasted each new dish, I thought, “Now, this is my favorite.” But this was truly it. The softness of the clam and the acidic taste of the citrus crowned it the best ceviche I’ve ever had. Contrasted with its heavy beer counterpart, “Drop Bear,” a full-bodied double IPA with tropical aromas, it was a perfectly balanced dish.

Beer-paired dinner at Bay 13
The clam ceviche is a nod to the chef’s Ecuadorian roots.

At that point, we were all reaching a comfortable level of fullness, but we powered through for dessert. Our sweet tooths were satisfied by the hazelnut and raspberry Napoleon, beautifully plated and wonderfully saccharine. The final beer pairing was “The Irwin,” named after the late celebrity wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin (also an Aussie). This soft, easy drinking ale closed out the meal perfectly, with its toffee and caramel notes complementing the dessert.

WATCH: Our Beer-Paired Dinner Experience on Instagram

For the $55 price tag, a beer-paired dinner at Bay 13 is well worth the value. And the short lectures from Berbusse and Chef Diego on each pint and plate gave us all a little more appreciation for the food and drink we so regularly consume without thought.

Bay 13 Brewery and Kitchen

65 Alhambra Plaza