Skip to content

What to Drink with Dumplings

February 18, 2019

People are often surprised to learn that this blog is not a revenue generating enterprise. It brings in zero dollars. Actually, every year it costs money to keep it running. Very small amounts of money, to be sure. But I want to pay to keep it ad free and clean. Plus I’m happy to support WordPress. It’s a great platform, and it has been very good for me.

The thing I do for money is the Yelp job, which I love. But it too has come at a cost. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges I faced, simply from time management and social media bandwidth concerns, was managing two separate Instagram feeds. In the early days of the Yelp gig, I was curating content for the YelpAlbany and FUSSYlittleBLOG Instagram pages.

That just was not sustainable. It required too much time and attention, so I parked the FLB IG page. For over two years it has sat untouched, unloved, and unchecked upon. But I’m happy to report that just this weekend I have brought it back to life!

What changed?

Well, I can’t talk about it quite yet, but there will be a big Yelp announcement tomorrow. No, I haven’t quit. But we do have someone new on board who is on the cusp of being officially announced. The Yelp community continues to grow and thrive in the Capital Region, and it’s really an incredible pleasure to be a part of that.

What I can talk about is the Official Yelp Event that we have on deck for later this week. Mostly because this weekend I spent a little bit of time trying to make #YelpDreams come true. Everyone has dreams. My dream was to give people an amazing beverage pairing for Dumplings Around the World.

Show of hands. Who knew that Deanna Fox is the current owner of the Albany Cooking School located inside Different Drummer’s Kitchen? It was news to me, and I’m very excited for her. Not that she needs to be taking on more projects. I barely see her enough these days. But if I’m lucky I can catch her on WAMC doing a Food Friday VOX Pop with Ray Graf. She just did one with Rocco DeFazio about food for the Super Bowl. I wanted to call in because there was too much talk about sports ball and not enough about pizza.

Anyway, Fox is hosting select members of the Yelp Elite Squad this week for a two hour version of her Dumplings Around the World class. Usually, she tackles Poland, China, Mexico, and India. But we try to keep Official Yelp events constrained to tidy little two hour affairs, so we had to prioritize.

China simply can’t be dropped. It’s too central to dumpling culture. I love pirogi, so those had to stay. And who could say no to samosas? Sorry Mexico.

So what do members of the Yelp Elite Squad think would be the best pairings for dumplings? More than anything the answer tracks with what might be the most popular beverages in the Capital Region: Nine Pin Cider and New England style IPAs. There were a couple of votes for dry white wine. A few non drinkers were happy with water. I had one very specific request for a Starbucks decaf mocha, which I can totally understand.

When it came to the beers, there were calls for all kinds of local and regional breweries. The suggestions included Unified Beerworks, Artisanal, Sloop, and SingleCut. The original plan was to get everyone exactly what they wanted.

Except this weekend I happened to find myself in Central Massachusetts taking care of some family business. And as it turns out, there is a brewery out there which is pretty well known for its New England style IPAs. So I picked up a mixed case from Tree House Brewing for these Yelp VIPs. I hope they don’t mind. It includes such hits as Julius, Green, Sap, Super Sap, Doppelgänger, Hurricane, and more.

These beers aren’t available anywhere. You have to drive to the brewery, stand in an interminable line, and then keep them cold until you enjoy them as quickly as humanly possible. Which, presumably, is why nobody mentioned Tree House by name when I asked. But hopefully those Yelp Elites who found their way onto the guest list for this week’s event will be surprised and delighted with what they find these in the beer cooler.

Like much of the Yelp job, the beer run was a labor of love. The cans from the brewery all suggest you “enjoy it with laughter, good cheer, and in the company of those you love.” Which is certainly the goal. Hopefully soon we can have dedicated events with SingleCut and Unified Beerworks at their breweries. We have already done an event with Artisanal, and love what they are making up in Saratoga Springs.

There are so many incredible breweries in the Capital Region it’s not even funny. But I think it’s really beneficial to give people some context, and taste some of the most hyped beers in the country, to demonstrate just how good we have it closer to home.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: