Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan have their hands in all kinds of pies. As owners of Santa Monica, Calif., establishments Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen, Huckleberry Bakery & Cafe and Sweet Rose Creamery, the husband-and-wife duo constantly are mixing traditional dishes with innovative ideas. Each spring, their customers eagerly await Rustic’s Spring Beer Bash Dinner. This year was no different: The dinner sold out of its 120 tickets, priced at $75 each.
“The dinner is a collaboration between Rustic Canyon Chef Evan Funke, Pastry Chef Zoe Nathan and [Oregon-based] Deschutes [Brewery],” Christina Perozzi, the event’s host, explains.
A renowned beer sommelier, author and brew expert, Perozzi is a large draw for attendees. Mixing beautiful rustic dishes with newly released, limited-edition brews doesn’t hurt, either.
“We pair five courses of farmers’-market-inspired dishes with great craft beer,” Loeb says.
At this year’s event, a Deschutes beer was paired with each course, including 2010 versions of rare brews released to Southern California for the first time: The Abyss, a Russian Imperial Stout brewed with licorice and molasses, and The Dissident, a Flanders-style brown ale aged 18 months and made with whole Washington cherries.
“Our beer program is focused on small-production breweries and best-of-class beers from around the world,” Loeb says. “Our beers are meant to complement our menu, and we try to have some great rare beers on our list for beer lovers to come and discover.”