Keith Schlabs and Matt Quenette Are Out To Kill Me

The Moth's cicerone, Matt Quenette, only looks innocent.

I thought about this post a lot yesterday as I lay in bed for 17 hours with the blinds drawn and a cool, dark pillow over my head. I could see it all so clearly: by hook or by crook, Schlabs and Quenette (respectively, the Meddlesome Moth’s co-owner and cicerone) are bound and determined to do me in with their Satan-in-a-Sunday-hat charm and invitations to rare beer tastings.

Exhibit A: Wednesday’s once-in-a-lifetime Saint Arnold Vintage Divine Reserve tasting — nine beers paired course by course with seared jumbo sea scallops, Scotch eggs, and individual pumpkin pies — co-conceived by special guest Saint Arnold owner/brewmaster Brock Wagner and the Moth’s Chef Chad Kelley.

It’s really best if I let the menu — which, it must be noted, would have sucked the restraint out of Norman Vincent Peale — speak for itself:

jump for the menu…

English barleywine

Belgo-American quadruppel paired with a seared jumbo sea scallop with parsnip puree and a golden raisin compote.

Double IPA paired with jalapeno-bread grilled cheese with Tillamook cheddar, braised shank, caramelized onions, and arugula.

Wee heavy paired with speck, brie, and grainy mustard.

Russian imperial stout paired with orange-scented chevre and crushed walnuts.

American barleywine paired with a Scotch egg with a jalapeno-deviled yolk.

Weizenbock paired with aged Manchego and fig jam.

Scotch ale paired with a black-pepper-brisket Reuben on Jewish rye.

And, finally, an imperial pumpkin stout paired with a pumpkin tasse and candied pecans.

I’m exhausted just recounting it. In fact, I think I need to lie down under my desk. Clearly, the strength of the private reserves (not one was under 8 percent alcohol; most were 10) and richness of Kelley’s menu points to a thinly veiled plot designed to knock me out of commission. Well played, gentlemen. You succeeded.

At this point, those without a sense of humor will feel compelled to remind me that a) I could have cried “uncle” at any time,  b) Schlabs and Quenette are fine, upstanding young men, c) any after-effects are my own damn fault, and d) the world does not, in fact, revolve around me.

Those people are no fun at all.

The takeaway: that it’s a good idea to check the Moth’s website for more events of this kind. And while this one was invitation only (seats at this table of 15 went for $85 each and disappeared before Captain Keith even finished writing the invitation list), the Moth hosts scads more that are open to all. Keep a keen eye out for the next one.

And if I’m going to be completely honest here, yesterday’s infirmity had more to do with a seasonal bug than it did with overindulgence. But what’s a Friday afternoon for if not exaggeration and good-natured finger pointing.

Thanks to Schlabs for inviting me to be his guest at this event.