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Beer Dinners: Drekker & The Toasted Frog

Photo By Hillary Ehlen

The Food

Pan-Seared Pork Belly

A glorious slab of pork belly is a culinary delicacy to many chefs and diners alike. The Toasted Frog is known for its creative menu and this pan-seared pork belly is a fan favorite among staff and patrons. The pork belly is braised is a citrus chili sauce and is placed alongside an avocado salad, arugula, fresh tomato and a citrus rice pilaf. It all comes together for a flavor explosion that will leave you wanting more.

The Toasted Frog
305 Broadway N, Fargo

The Beer

Ectogasm New England IPA

New England IPAs are a trendy brew for many across the country. In plain terms, it opens the doors for more traditional beer drinkers to try India Pale Ales. The hoppy and bitter flavor of a traditional IPA is hit and miss with craft beer drinkers (it’s a home run for IPA apologists). Yet, the New England IPA is different as it does not rely on being overly hoppy or bitter. Rather, brewers focus on juiciness and more tropical hop notes in their NE IPAs. That happens to be the case with Drekker’s popular Ectogasm NE IPA. It’s juicy and hazy, which we come to expect from an IPA, but it brings a flavor that does not pack a hoppy punch. That alone has made it one of Drekker’s best in their long lineage of great beers.

Drekker Brewing Company
1666 1st Ave N, Fargo

Why It Pairs

Hoppier IPAs can command a palate to the point where food could become bland. Yet, with the softer flavor of the Ectogasm that will not be an issue for those looking to try the pan-seared pork belly. However, the mild bitterness and hop character do serve a valuable purpose in this pairing. They are designed to cut through fats that can accumulate in the mouth while eating. With a higher fat protein in pork belly, the Ectogasm will help to balance your palate following a bite and prepare for the next one.

Written by Brady Drake

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