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March Madness Hops and High Cuisine Dinner at The Carolina Inn

Carolina Crossroads Restaurant & Carolina Brewery team for 5-course March 5 dinner

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (February 10, 2009) - Obsessed with food? Passionate about beer? What better way to tip off the month of beer and championship college basketball than a five-course dinner on Thursday, March 5 at The Carolina Inn's Crossroads Restaurant served with local beer pairings by the Carolina Brewery.

In what will be the first of an ongoing seasonal series, the March Madness Beer Dinner takes place from 6:30-10:00 p.m. and costs $49 per person. Space is limited and reservations can be made by calling 919-918-2735.

"We have always been big fans of the Carolina Brewery and their dedication to producing great local beer," said Carolina Crossroads Executive Chef Jimmy Reale. "Doing a beer dinner was something I have wanted to do for awhile and getting together with them to do a dinner series just seemed like such a natural partnership for us. It's a great way to experiment with different styles of beer that you may not be familiar with and understand how the flavors of beer and food can complement each other. It should not always be just about wine and food."

Reale worked with Jon Connolly, Director of Brewing Operations at the Carolina Brewery, to put together this first menu. "Jon has a great understanding of flavors and balance and is definitely passionate about what he does. The menu showcases great local beers with great local ingredients in order to produce 'comfort style food' in a casual setting. Each course will be paired with the perfect beer from hors d'oeuvres to dessert."

"The most amazing thing about pairing beer with food is how well the two go together," added Connolly. "My favorite matches are those where the beer complements the flavors in the food. In this beer dinner menu we can enjoy the sweet malt flavors of an ale paired with sweet roasted meats or the intense hop character of a beer paired with a spicy appetizer. Be sure to save room for dessert because if you haven't had chocolate cake with a rich oatmeal porter before, you're in for a real treat."

The event commences with a reception at 6:30 offering Pickled Shrimp on Jalapeno Crostini with Cilantro Lime Aioli, Country Ham & Black-eyed Pea Hushpuppy with Pimento Cheese & Red Cabbage Slaw and Gougere of Mushrooms & Gruyere Cheese, Scented with Sky Blue Golden Ale with the beer selections being Sky Blue Golden Ale and Flagship India Pale Ale.

The appetizer includes a Trio of Beer Braised Sausage and House-made Duck, Wild Boar & Venison with Sauerkraut & Grain Mustard Jus served with Winter Wonder.

The salad is Frisee Greens with Beer Battered Shallots, Crisp Country Ham, Buttermilk Blue Cheese & Warm Apple Smoked Bacon Vinaigrette accompanied by Downtown Trolley Brown.

An Oatmeal Porter Granita highlights intermezzo.

The entree features Beer Brined Prime Strip Steak, Crispy Potato Hash, Broccolini & Roasted Plum Tomatoes with Ancho Chili Demi Glace and Copperline Amber Ale.

Dessert offers Chocolate Oatmeal Porter Cake with Fresh Berries & Caramel Sauce and a glass of Oatmeal Porter.

About The Carolina Inn
Recognized as one of America's "cultural resources worthy of preservation," The Carolina Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places with elite status as a AAA Four Diamond Award Hotel and Mobil Four Star Award-Winning Dining at the Carolina Crossroads Restaurant. From the day it opened in 1924, the 184-room Inn has played an important role in the life of the University of North Carolina and the Chapel Hill community. As one of only four hotels in North Carolina built before 1925 to remain in continuous operation, it has long been one of the most popular sites in North Carolina for special events, weddings, business meetings, and academic conferences with over 13,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space. In addition to having a rich cultural history, The Carolina Inn is architecturally significant, blending elements of antebellum Southern plantation houses with Georgian and neoclassical features often found in the Northeast. The original front of the building was modeled after the Potomac River front of Mt. Vernon.  The Carolina Inn is one of more than 30 independent, upscale and luxury hotels, resorts and golf clubs in the United States managed by Destination Hotels & Resorts, the fourth largest independent hospitality management company in the country. www.carolinainn.com

About Carolina Brewery
Carolina Brewery is a locally-owned brewery and restaurant that has drawn international attention for its handcrafted beers, all brewed in-house by Brewmaster Jon Connolly and his team. Founded in 1995, Carolina Brewery is the oldest brewery in the Triangle area and celebrates its 14th anniversary this year. Carolina Brewery's Flagship India Pale Ale won a Gold Medal in the 2006 Great American Beer Festival, and the Copperline Amber Ale is a Gold Medal winner in the World Beer Championships. Both of these beers are offered year-round, along with special limited-edition seasonal specials. Carolina Brewery is equally dedicated to food and its expanding menu, which raises the bar on traditional bar fare. The core menu of burgers, soups, salads, pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and desserts is augmented by a special rotating menu with flavors and ingredients specific to the season. www.carolinabrewery.com