Teresa Dickerson (second from left) and her team at Kroger Delta Division hosted a private beer and grilled food tasting on the patio of Memphis Made Brewing Company. (Photo: Latrivia Welch)

by Latrivia Welch

Latrivia Welch

I’m not the grill master at home, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t aspire to be one day. My husband has his own camouflage man-apron complete with beer inserts and a customized grill kit that is kept in an undisclosed location. Quite haughtily, he reigns supreme over the grill, fixing steaks, burgers and hot dogs just the way you like them, every single time. It’s like his unofficial motto.

But this 4th of July season as we relax and pull out all of the firecrackers and insect repellant, I’m going to have on my own apron complete with a wine lanyard from Vintage 901, and I’ll and be ready to stand beside my husband at the grill with a few new tricks under my sleeve thanks to the 2019 Beer & Blog Influencer event Kroger’s held at Memphis Made Brewing Company in the Cooper Young District on Sunday, June 30th.

Talk about perfect timing for this event.

Teresa Dickerson and her team at Kroger Delta Division hosted a private beer and grilled food tasting on the patio of one of the coolest breweries in town for some of the most sought-after food influencers in town. I was there with my plate handy and my glass full.

The premise was simple – to introduce food bloggers to new and creative ways of using the grill during the 4th of July to accommodate any palate and show them how pairing the perfect craft beer with certain foods can truly elevate the flavors.

The Kroger executive chefs presented three rounds of the most delicious grilled foods ever and Andy Ashby, co-founder of Memphis Made Brewing Company and former Memphis Business Journal reporter schooled us on how to appreciate and pair the perfect beer with all of your 4th of July menus.

Round 1:

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Grilled Carrots paired with Junt Beer

Philly Cheese Brats served with provolone cheese and peppers, paired with Catnip Beer

Round 2:

Turkey Burger Sliders with Asian Spices paired with Soulful Ginger Beer

Glazed Ribs paired with Fireside Amber Ale

Round 3:

Butternut Squash Quesadillas paired with Junt Beer

Citrus Glaze Cheesecake paired with Lime Junt Beer

Ah! (Photo: Latrivia Welch)

By the time we all got to round three, we were in a state of bliss. During each round the chefs showed us how to make each dish, all of which could be purchased at Kroger, and Andy explained the importance of choosing beers that elevate the taste of the food and also accent them.

I would have never thought to pair cheesecake with beer, but remarkably the combination was light. Memphis Made Brewing Company’s craft beers are a special treat for all beer lovers. It was more like a fine wine tasting with chilled growlers of light to dark beers that range from champagne like to chocolate and oaky. The location is perfect for having special events or a date-night getaway. You can also purchase most of their beers at Kroger. My favorite was the Soulful Ginger beer. If I closed my eyes, I couldn’t tell that it was beer. It was more like a mix of champagne and wine.

After talking with the other bloggers who attended, most of whom were just as full as I was, I found my pick for the 4th will definitely be the Philly Cheese Brats paired with Memphis Made Brewing Company’s Catnip IPA and the Butternut Squash Quesadillas paired with Junt Beer.

According to the chef, the trick is to soak the Kroger brand Cheddar Brats in beer the night before then put them on the grill the next day. You cut up the onions and peppers and grilled them in a grill pan then combine on a Pepperidge Farms Sweet Hawaiian Bread Brats Brun with provolone cheese. No need for other condiments, trust me. It will be more than enough.  The butternut squash works better if you smoke them on the grill for a bit then add your favorite cheese to and let the wrap sit on the grill for about five minutes. It will literally melt in your mouth.

I’ll save my coffee for after the kids go to bed the night of the fourth. I’ll have it to soak up the beer and keep me awake to play with the fireworks when no one is looking. But one thing is for certain, my husband will have to fight to remain the grill master this year thanks to a little Beer and Blog event I attended in Cooper Young.