Look, beer is important.
This is a beer blog, after all. I should want to talk about beer. But when your kitchen is turning out some pretty amazing things, I kind of have to pause and talk about that for a little bit as well.
That’s the nice thing about Chef Ray over at Stormhouse Brewing in North Palm Beach. The man is, simply put, a genius in the kitchen.
I’m sorry, but he is really good at what he does, and team that created Stormhouse has no problems shouting that from the rooftops. I can see why while on my recent trip there to record the interview you’re going to be hearing soon on the Florida Beer Podcast.
To begin, co-founder Josh Brinzo is a big fan of is spicy. I mean spicy. If you have seen their menu, you know there is a burger on there that is less of a meal and more of a challenge, owing to the heat it is infused with. They, meaning Josh and his head brewer brother Christian, are big fans of having Ray take wings and chicken fingers and dousing them with that hot sauce.
Of course, I had to try.
It was amazing. Tons of heat but also tons of flavor. That is tricky, since when food tends to get too spicy, it tends to burn your taste buds so badly that you can’t actually taste anything anymore.
Not here, though. That spice hits the perfect mix of big, bold, spicy flavors, but still enough restraint and moderation so that it doesn’t destroy your taste buds. Honestly, I would like to see this on the menu more often.
To accompany said Fingers of Doom, I had to try some Cool Vibes (5% ABV, 22 IBU).
It was a perfect accompaniment. Crisp and clean, slightly lemony, a touch of biscuit malt, very light and buoyant and delicious.
It didn’t end there, since Ray just decided to make a plate for me. No clues or anything, just a plate. And if a chef like Ray makes a plate, it’s going to be awesome.
First and foremost were the meatball sliders. He had made fresh meatballs for their meatball sub, what Josh had asked for when I arrived. They were fantastic, as the meatballs have a very interesting and flavorful meat mix which was cooked in a tomato sauce that has a lot of fresh tomato flavors and no syrupy sugariness or artificial ketchup flavors.
They have to make the french fries fresh, since they are incredibly crispy and tasty. That being said, there were also some of their new baked chicken wings.
I have, with varying degrees of success, reignited my love for the chicken wing. This is surprisingly scary, since chicken wings are surprisingly easy to fail miserably at. I recall going to another brewery years ago whose food truck had chicken wings that were gummy, slimy, and truly repulsive. These, however, are some of the best wings I have ever had.
Chef Ray and his team bake the chicken wings with their own secret spice blend, and Josh let me know they’re having a hard time keeping up with demand. I can see why, and I would easily put them up against any wing houses that think they know what they’re doing.
Yes, these are big words, and I believe equality will back them up.
To accompany this great feast, we ended up all having a round of Nor’easter (New England IPA, 6% ABV, 40 IBU).
This was a great example of the style, as the aroma bursts with a lot of fruity notes of melon and citrus. There are big flavors of orange, lemon, and a touch of papaya in the back as well. There’s also a little bit of soft citric alpha acids, giving the finished product just a bit of an edge
There’s so much good stuff going on at Stormhouse that it might be a good thing they’re so far away. I might have to build a second home there. I’m sure I can set up shop in a corner and get beers and those hot sauce wings delivered on a regular basis.
Hot sauce beer? Just an idea…
Drink Florida Craft,
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