Matchwood claims Brewmaster title

by Jenny Smith
| February 26, 2020 1:00 AM

PRIEST RIVER — After the last beer and wine poured and the last morsel savored, it was Matchwood Brewing and Odom Corporation taking top honors at the 7th annual Iron Sommelier and Brewmaster Event on Saturday.

The event, which was held at the Priest River Event Center and hosted by Newport Hospital and Health Services Foundation, grossed over $24,000 for the Newport Hospital and Health Services Foundation and included 27 individual Healthy Kids Snack Bags sponsorships. Guests voted on wine or microbrew flights paired with six gourmet “small bite” courses prepared by Executive Chef Steven Swanson of Nectar Catering and Events (Spokane). Swanson is a 2002 graduate of Newport High School and a Pend Oreille County resident.

Event newcomers Andrea Marcoccio and Kennden Culp of Matchwood Brewing Co. of Sandpoint beat Mack Deibel of MickDuff’s Brewing Company, another Sandpoint favorite, for the 2020 Brewmaster title with creative pairings of Matchwood’s craft brews and the six courses served.

Deibel won two of the courses: Course 5 “Lyonniase Salad” paired with MickDuff’s Blonde Ale; and Course 6 “Cherimoya Cake” paired with MickDuff’s Awesomesauce (Milkshake). However, Marcoccio and Culp’s pairings for the first four courses clinched the win for Matchwood. Course 1 -- “Arugula Pesto Tortellini” paired with Matchwood’s Rye Pale Ale; Course 2 — “Lobster Bisque” paired with Matchwood’s Dry- Hopped Pilsner; Course 3 “Vietnamese Pork Lettuce Wrap” paired with Matchwood’s Berliner Weisse; and Course 4 “Grilled Steak with Chimichurri” paired with Matchwood’s Double West IPA.

Mike Kenna of Odom Corporation of Coeur d’ Alene upset longtime sommelier champion, Charlie Walker of Vehrs, Inc. of Spokane, for the “2020 Iron Sommelier” title. Walker won three of the pairings: Course 1 “Arugula Pesto Tortellini” paired with 2018 Arona Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand); Course 3 “Vietnamese Pork Lettuce Wrap” paired with 2016 Mont-Marcal Vinicola Cava Brut Reserva (Spain); and Course 4 “Grilled Steak with Chimichurri” paired with 2015 Scotto Family Old Vine Zinfandel (California).

Although consistent throughout the competition, Kenna pulled the win by winning three courses: Course 2 “Lobster Bisque” paired with 2017 Wine by Joe Pinot Blanc (Willamette Valley, OR); Course 5 “Lyonniase Salad” paired with Segura Cava Brut Rosé (Cava, Spain); and Course 6 “Cherimoya Cake” paired with 2018 Frostbitten Ice Riesling (Yakima Valley, WA).

Spokane musician, Kicho Forrest, provided dynamic acoustic and electric guitar with country and classic rock vocals. Forrest was accompanied on the drums by Bret Smith of Newport. A custom, hand- crafted metal plaque was presented to Swanson. Ten Newport High School Health Occupation Students of America Club and four Priest River Lamanna High School National Honor Society students served each of the six food courses and graciously accepted the generous audience’s tips of over $700 toward their clubs’ fundraising efforts.

The Iron Sommelier and Brewmaster Event is an annual event and partnership with Jim and Kerri Martin, proprietors of the Beardmore Bistro, Wine Bar and Tap House of Priest River.

Information: newporthospitalandhealth.org.

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Tom Wilbur announces Andrea Marcoccio and Kennden Culp of Matchwood as Brewmaster champions while competitor Mack Deibel of MickDuff’s Brewing Company congratulates them. The competition was part of the 7th annual Iron Sommelier and Brewmaster Event this past weekend.

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(Photo courtesy NEWPORT HOSPITAL AND HEALTH SERVICES) Tom Wilber, Andrea Marcoccio and Kennden Culp accept the award for being named 2020 Brewmasters at the 7th annual Iron Sommelier and Brewmaster Event this past weekend.