There has been a lot happening in Miami lately with several industries taking refuge in our sunny home. One weekend there is a film festival, followed by Art Basel, followed by a chic restaurant opening. What if there was an event that somehow blended all these cultural experiences? Enter the Brooklyn Brewery MASH: Adventures in Food, Film, Music, Books and Beer.
The Brooklyn Brewery MASH 2013 tour made its final stop right here in Miami. “Mash” can be defined as the first step in the brewing process where barley is mixed with water then heated to extract its sugars. The brewery also defined it as “an adventurous mix of the best cultural happenings from our neighborhood and yours.” Some of these neighborhoods included Austin, D.C., New Orleans, Boston and Philadelphia. Their stop in Miami started this Monday, December 9, and will conclude Sunday, December 15. While finals may be a priority right now, we highly recommend taking a study break to check out some of the events.
Distraction’s first insight into MASH was Monday night’s Art of the Burger event at Shack Shack Coral Gables, which surpassed any expectation by a long shot. The event was hosted by Shake Shack’s Senior Director of Operation, John Vandegrift, and Brooklyn Brewery’s House Chef, Andrew Gerson, both of which were incredibly inviting and knowledgeable of their companies. Guests got to enjoy three whole hamburgers, each paired with a beer, and a beer and vanilla custard float for dessert.
Pairing 1 included the basic hamburger and a Brooklyn Lager. Gerson explained that we began with the simplest ingredients to set the base. All Shake Shack burgers have a custom-blended, fresh-never-frozen beef patty and a simple potato roll. “Plain and simple, nice and fresh, “ described Vandegrift. The lager is an Americanized, Vienna-style amber lager that pairs great with most anything.
Pairing 2 got slightly less simple with a ShackBurger and ShackMeister combination. The ShackBurger is the same burger as before but with the signature ShackSauce (way better than that McDonad’s sauce), cheese, lettuce and tomato. Because the burger was slightly heavier, the beer was a lighter pale ale with a British Malt, brewed specifically for Shake Shack.
Pairing 3 (yes, we ate three burgers – for the sake of journalism) was the SmokeShack and fries with a Brooklyn Brown Ale. This burger was added only recently to the Shake Shack menu because chefs were hesitant to add bacon to the burger – only the best ingredients pass their test. This cheeseburger also contains spicy cherry pepper for a little extra kick. The Brooklyn Brown Ale combined qualities of English brown ales but with a little American accent to it. According to Gerson, ales are more flavorful than lagers because it is brewed at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time.
Finally, guests got to enjoy a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (10.0% ABV!!!!!!) with some classic vanilla Shake Shack custard. For someone who has never had a float before, this opened the doors to something incredible. The beer alone might be too strong, but the sweet flavors of the custard really balanced it to make a delicious dessert.
If the Art of the Burger event sounds like something you would enjoy – which everyone should – you can still catch some MASH events through its remaining days in Miami. Tonight, there will be a Slow Supper at the Wynwood Walls and a NY Night Train Soul Clap Dance-Off at Gramps. Another great event is sure to be Andrew Gerson’s demo at Total Wine & More on pairing beer and cheese. To learn more about Brooklyn Brewery and their upcoming events, check out their website.
words_nicole vila. photos_raquel zaldivar