The Dining Insider: a blog about a special celebration at Iron Hill, the beer and wine festival at Chesapeake Inn, grilled cheese and craft brew at World Cafe Live and a tasting of Sonata wines

Not Over the Hill Quite Yet

Beer lovers have been waiting for this. Iron Hill’s Fe15, brewed to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the restaurant’s opening in Newark, goes on sale Nov. 14. The Imperial American Tripel is named for the chemical symbol for iron, Fe (check your periodic table of elements), and the anniversary year. As for the flavor, expect lots of hops countered by pilsner malt. And with an alcohol content of 15 percent by volume, it should prove a mighty festive brew, indeed. It’s corked in 750 ml bottles offered for $24.50 as part of Iron Hill’s Bottled Reserves, an award-winning series of seasonal beers. Or you can try it on tap during the 15th anniversary party from 6 p.m. till 9 p.m. on Nov. 14. A raffle for a bottle of Fe15 and T-shirt will go down at 8 p.m. Also be there for Fifteen Firkins for Fifteen Years on Saturday, Nov. 19, noon till 5 p.m., when the Newark restaurant taps brews developed at other Iron Hill locations (Wilmington, the five Pennsylvania brew pubs and one in New Jersey) and by a few regional friends, such Dogfish Head, Evolution, Flying Fish, Yards and Stewart’s Brewing Co. of Bear. For more, see  To see what we said when we last wrote about the boys of the Hill, in October, click here.

Also at Iron Hill, in Wilmington, there will be a special anniversary tapas dinner on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. Here’s what you can look forward to: Grilled sweet corn bisque with Hudson Valley duck confit, chanterelles and chive oil paired with Iron Hill’s Ocktoberfest beer, followed by a salad of grilled peach and charred arugula with scented toasted almonds and guajillo chile-honey vinaigrette. That’s paired with Fred Flemish ale. Next up, crispy fried Florida rock shrimp with fried artichokes, garlic chips and lemon-saffron aioli paired with Samurai Saison, then figs wrapped with warm Serrano ham and stuffed with blue cheese. That goes with English Barleywine. Course five: pork belly braised with cider and chipotles with goat cheese and sweet potato purée served with Wee Heavy ale, followed by risotto with lobster and butternut squash paired with Mr. Miyagi Pils. Finally, for dessert, caramel-banana tart with a surprise brew. Be there. The $65 includes a gratuity. Reserve at 658-8200. Cheers.

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Inn to the Drink

As the old saying goes, one can never have too many celebrations of beer and wine. (We’re sure we’ve heard that somewhere.) The next great event? The expo at The Chesapeake Inn. It happens Nov. 13 in the inn’s beautiful waterfront ballroom. There will be tastings of craft brews and wine, of course, as well as a buffet of light fare. We can think of few better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. Tix are $45 in advance, $50 at the door. Call (410) 885-2040 for more.

A Special Wine Tasting

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First the wines: Sonata Rosso, Sonata Bianco and Sonata Rosé. Second, the music: the “11 Sundays” CD. Last, the man: guitarist Paul Cullen. The former Bad Company bassist has focused on jazzy guitar playing since he gave up the road, and what goes better with that than wine? So he started making his own CDs and developed his own label of wines. Sonata Rosé is a dry, spicy blend of Petite Syrah and Fiano grapes from the eastern foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada. Rosso blends Syrah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc to make a fruity, spicy wine. Bianco is a medium-bodied Pinot Grigio with a bouquet of honeysuckle and pear. Sample them with Paul during an Unplugged & Uncorked wine tasting at Premier Wine & Spirits in Wilmington on Nov. 11, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Jam out, too. What better way to spend a Friday?

Perfectly Cheesy

OK, we’ve never gotten over grilled cheese, especially the way it’s done at World Cafe Live—which is anything but what you’d expect. And given our love of beer, we can’t resist this: a tasting of grilled cheeses and craft brews. WCL puts it this way: “How does a Yards Saison paired with Old Bay cheddar on brioche with a mini-crab cake sound? Or maybe an Italian Cacio de Lazio on Herbes de Provence bread with tomato and kalamata olive purée along with New Holland Brewing’s Golden Cap Saison Ale?” It sounds great. See what’s cooking on Nov. 15. Tickets are $35. Call 994-1400 to reserve. And if you miss it, don’t worry

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