The Barley and Vine Project at Mandalay Bay is a laboratory for Food and Beverage Professionals, Chefs, Brewers, Winemakers, Distillers, Farmers, Foragers and all-around Artisans to express their craft at the highest level. We are pleased to announce our first official event, a Beer vs. Wine dinner featuring our esteemed friends, Matt Brynildson of Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Russell P. From of Herman Story Wines. Each dish will be presented with a beer and wine. Which makes a better pairing? You be the judge. Join us for five courses of the most fun you have had in a long time.
#TEAMWINE will be represented by Harley Carbery, Mandalay Bay Director of Wine, and Russell From of Herman Story Wines (http://hermanstorywines.com/)
When Russell P. From began Herman Story Wines with 7 barrels of Syrah in 2001, he imagined the wines being poured at Gatsby-esque parties. His face would be in magazines you can buy in airports. There would be free steak dinners. Robert Parker would say some really nice things about the wines. Women would fawn. Maybe there’d be his own winery someday where friends would work for food and wine.
13 years, 7 AVAs, 30 vineyards and 100s of new French oak barrels later, everything has come to pass, steak dinners and all. What started as a stack of barrels squirreled away in his employer’s cellar, has quietly grown into one of the Central Coast’s secret gems. With over 4,000 lifetime Parker Points™, a Hospice du Rhone Syrah Shootout title and a Winemaker of the Year honor from the Purely Domestic Wine Review, Herman Story has earned its place as one of the most consistently delicious wineries around.
Harley says: “Russell’s passion for wine is infectious, he is constantly working to increase the worlds love for the amazing wines from the central coast of California. Once you taste the wines from Herman Story you will never want to go back!. This will be an easy victory for #teamwine but we won’t go to hard on #teambeer….really…..”
#TEAMBEER will be represented by Sarah Johnson, Nevada's first female Cicerone® and Matthew Brynidlson of Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (http://www.firestonebeer.com/home.php)
Matt graduated from Kalamazoo College and began his brewing career with KALSEC (Kalamazoo Spice Extraction Company) as a hop chemist. After attending the Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology, he joined the Goose Island Beer Company where he was Head Brewer of their Chicago Fulton Street production facility from 1996-2000. In 2001 Matt joined the Firestone Walker Brewing Company as Brewmaster. He oversees all facets of the brewery operations including Firestone’s unique Oak Barrel Fermentation program. He also works as a brewing consultant for Hop Growers of America and has presented to brewers at all levels, both in the USA and abroad, on the subject of hops. Matt was the 2007 recipient of the Brewers Association Russell Scherer Award for Innovation in Brewing. He has been named Champion Brewmaster 4 times at the World Beer Cup and Brewer of the Year 5 times at the Great American Beer Festival. In his leisure time Matt spends a good deal of time exploring the world of Wine and Firestone Walker has started a program working with local growers to create interesting beers co-fermented with wine grapes and aged in used wine barrels.
Sarah says: “Matt makes some of the best beers in the world. The time and energy he devotes to advancing the industry at the highest level is truly remarkable. He is also the nicest guy in beer – a community full of some spectacularly kind people. He is so nice you may hardly notice him celebrating when #teambeer crushes #teamwine. But don’t worry. I have a cooler full of Gatorade at the ready.”