We were invited to California Pizza Kitchen’s newest location in Escondido, CA last week for an exclusive beer pairing event. California Pizza Kitchen partnered with Ballast Point to create an incredible night filled with amazing foods and delicious beers. CPK’s Head of Culinary Innovation Chef Brian Sullivan and Ballast Point’s Vice President/Specialty Brewer Colby Chandler hosted the event. This event also included a meet-and-greet with CPK’s CEO GJ Hart, President Chris Morris, and SVP of Marketing and Beverage Ashley Ceraolo. We had the honor of tasting both seasonal and core items from CPK’s menu that were perfectly paired with an array of Ballast Point brews. 

 

Appetizers:

Brussels + Bacon Flatbread paired with Ballast Point’s Piper Down IPA

Roasted Brussels sprouts with sweet caramelized onions, Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon, creamy goat cheese, Romano and cracked black pepper.

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower paired with Ballast Point’s Piper Down IPA

Fresh cauliflower florets fried to a golden brown with buttermilk batter, tossed in housemade Sriracha buffalo sauce and topped with a salad of celery, Gorgonzola and cilantro.

Charred Shishito Peppers paired with Ballast Point’s Piper Down IPA

East Asian shishito peppers pan-sautéed with soy, garlic and red chili.

Salad:

Quinoa + Arugula paired with Ballast Point’s Grapefruit Sculpin IPA

CPK’s super-grain salad with asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, red onions, toasted pine nuts and Feta tossed in a homemade Champagne vinaigrette.

Pizza:

Carne Asada Pizza paired with Ballast Point’s Cinnamon Raisin Commodore American Stout

Tender marinated steak, fire-roasted poblanos, cilantro pesto, yellow onions, Mozzarella, Monterey Jack and fresh cilantro.

Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage Pizza paired with Ballast Point’s California Kölsch German-Style Pale Ale

Cremini mushrooms, rustic pepperoni, spicy Italian sausage, fresh torn basil, Mozzarella and wild Greek oregano.

Pasta:

Wild Mushroom Strozzapreti paired with Ballast Point’s Black Marlin Porter

Rolled pasta noodles with pan-sautéed Cremini, Portobello and seasonal mushrooms, Parmesan and fresh thyme and parsley. 

Main Plate:

Fire-Grilled Ribeye paired with Ballast Point’s California Amber ESB-inspired ale

12oz USDA choice ribeye grilled with housemade Pinot Noir sea salt and topped with creamy bleu cheese butter. Served with roasted fingerling potatoes and lemon-garlic wild arugula salad.

Desserts:

Salted Caramel Pudding paired with Ballast Point’s Victory at Sea Imperial Porter with Coffee and Vanilla

Rich caramle pudding, black cocoa cookie crumbs, housemade whipped cream, caramel sauce and natural flaked Maldon sea salt.

Butter Cake paired with Ruffino Prosecco 

In the words of CPK: “Trust us. Just try it.” Served warm with housemade whipped cream + Vanilla Häagen-Dazs.

 

What a menu, right?! All of the items we tried at this event were out of this world! Our favorites included the Carne Asada Pizza paired with the Cinnamon Raisin Commodore American Stout, the Fire-Grilled Ribeye paired with the California Amber ESB-inspired ale, and the Salted Caramel Pudding paired with the Victory at Sea Imperial Porter. 

California Pizza Kitchen is continuing to grow and grow; with 15 new restaurants opened last year, there will be an additional 22 opening this year (both domestically and internationally)! Ballast Point has also experienced wildly successful sales and growth over the course of their brewing business. In Ballast Point’s first year, they brewed about 400 barrels. Last year they brewed over 425,000 barrels (over a thousand times what they brewed their first year)! We wish both California Pizza Kitchen and Ballast Point continued success! Make sure to check out CPK’s beautiful newest restaurant located at 200 E. Via Ranch Parkway, Suite # 125, Escondido, CA 92025. Cheers!


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