When Joe first met Jon Cadoux, founder of Peak Organic Brewing Company, we were really in the market for a good set of organic beers. Our steakhouse is located in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts, a very green, earth friendly town, where many people choose to eat locally and sustainably. A mission of ours has always been to appeal to those green standards of living and eating by offering as many sustainable options as possible within the realm of a steakhouse. We had heard of Peak Organic before but never tried it, and honestly we were a little put off by the several other types of organic brews we had tried previously, which were simply just not menu worthy. So when Joe took his first sip of Peak Organic Amber Ale, after listening to Jon lovingly describe his philosophy on how his beers were best drank in moderation with some good food and good friends, Joe could honestly not have agreed more.
Peak Organic Brewing Company is the only producer of organic beer in the country which is not a line extension of another brand. Peak uses barley and hops that are grown without toxic and persistent pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Jon’s goal by doing this is very simple: to produce delicious beer.
Peak Organic currently produces four flavors: Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Nut Brown Ale, and Maple Oat Ale. They also have a couple new exciting flavors on the way which they are keeping a close guarded secret as they finish putting the final touches on them.
Naturally these great beers are well suited to all types of food. We first present Peak’s description of each beer and then we will provide our opinion as well as the single dish from our menu that best compliments them. Also, we have included the 2 beer dinner menus where we have partnered with Peak Organic.
Peak’s Description: A complex hybrid between a West-Coast Pale Ale and a British-Style Pale Ale.
- Cascade hops impart citrusy, hoppy notes in the nose.
- The use of organic Caramel Malts give this a smooth, almost sweet finish.
- 41 IBU’s (International Bittering Units) pushes this brew to near IPA (India Pale Ale) status.
Our Opinion: Classic Pale ale flavors, clean, refreshing, and not too heavy, without the typical lingering aftertaste of many common pale ales.
Menu Pairing: Pechuguitas al Champignon – Grilled chicken breast, served with lightly fried potato balls tossed with garlic, parsley,butter, salt and pepper, all topped with a decadent mushroom and onion creme sauce finished with Argentine Reggianito cheese.
Peak’s Description: A lively ale that starts sweet and has a subtle toasted character.
- We use an abundance of organic Crystal Malt to give this ale a bright, “ruby” flavor up front.
- The use of organic Munich Malt imparts a toasty finish.
Our Opinion: Great, strong, ruby flavors typical of an amber, medium bodied, with the strength to pair with rich foods without overpowering them.
Menu Pairing: Salmon a la Naranja – Pan seared filet of salmon, served with spiced sweet potato puree, sauteed swiss chard and finished with a sweet and tangy orange ginger glaze.
Peak Organic Nut Brown Ale
- We use an organic Chocolate Malt and an organic Munich Malt that give this beer its unique finish.
- The rare organic New Zealand Hallartau hop provides this dynamic brown ale with a crisp flavor.
Our Opinion: A great all around steak beer, this one is our personal favorite. It has the backbone to pair well with even the heartiest of meals, while not being too heavy on the stomach.
Menu Pairing: Bife El Gaucho – A Caminito signature steak, an extra large boneless ribeye, cooked to temperature on the wood -fired grill, served simply as any steak should be, with parmesan chive mashed potato, sauteed broccoli, and finished with a rich veal demi glace.
Peak’s Description: A copper-colored ale with a soft, dynamic mouth feel from the organic oats and a subtle hint of sweetness in the finish from the organic maple syrup.
- Brewed with Maine-grown organic oats from granola company GrandyOats.
- Brewed with Vermont-produced organic maple syrup from Butternut Mountain Farms in Morrisville, Vermont.
Our Opinion: A great dessert beer, the maple is present without being overpowering and is nicely complimented by the natural strengths commonly found in oat ales. Those people who would pass this beer over for fear that it might be too sweet should seriously reconsider.
Menu Pairing: Flan con Dulce de Leche – Perhaps the most classic Spanish dessert with an Argentine twist, baked custard served chilled with its natural caramel juices, topped with house-made dulce de leche (Argentine milk caramel), cinnamon whipped creme and seasonal berries.