Just slightly behind the rest of the world, Abu Dhabi is finally welcoming the world of Craft Beer. The very modern and fun, Market Kitchen at Le Royal Meridien Hotel wins the prize for having the first ever Craft Beer Social here in the capital. The beer specialist from African and Eastern was the key guest at the event, chatting with patrons about their love of craft beer, and when and how they might be able to find more of it here in Abu Dhabi. There are some new brews that we can look forward to, but don't get your hopes up all that high. He says the main issue is not actually getting it, but bringing it in at a price point that customers want to pay for it. True. While I do love some of those super hoppy American IPAs, I wouldn't be willing to pay a 100% markup over their already substantial retail price.
The Craft Beer Social highlighted three beers, two from Brooklyn Brewery and one from Flying Dog. The evening started with the lightest of the three: The Brooklyn Lager, paired with a juicy cheese burger with truffle aioli on a buttery brioche bun. Next was Brooklyn's East IPA, paired with a few nibbles of seared tuna, and finally we ended with Raging Bitch, an 8.5% alcohol IPA brewed with Belgian yeast by Flying Dog. It was paired with a pizza-like crisp bread topped with cured beef, rocket, and shaved parmesan. (The food is just a taste as the focus is on the beer.) The more hops the better, for me, so my favorite was undoubtedly the last. And, these beers are now available at all African and Eastern stores, just in case you did not already know.
While this was only the first event of this type, Market Kitchen stays on the forefront of these trends and is already planning for more in the near future. While the UAE drinks literally hundreds of thousands of cases of Macro brew light lagers per week, it will be great to see if some of that market will shift with the arrival of these highly sought after craft beer brands. Drink up!
Le Royal Meridien
Craft Beer Social
100** AED pp
Keep checking the website, or call to find out when the next one is scheduled.