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Beer & lobster bisque: Behind the scenes at first Whole Foods brewery dinner

Beer, lamb & lobster bisque: Inside first Whole Foods brewery dinner

Now that the new, Galleria-area Whole Foods Market on Post Oak has been open for a few months, the store has started to expand the range of programming it offers. On Thursday, the store's in-house brewery, Whole Foods Market Brewing Company, hosted its first beer dinner; the meal featured six of brewmaster Dave Ohmer's creations alongside courses prepared by the store's executive chef Josh Shobe.

Ohmer took suggestions from the crowd for a name; he settled on "Jambone," which both reflects the beer's sweetness and the roasted bone marrow that Shobe served with it.

 The beers, which started with a Belgian wit and finished with a chai porter, showed the range of the Whole Foods brewing operation. Attendees got the first taste of the brewery's new barley wine, which was both smoother and sweeter than it's 11-percent ABV would suggest. Ohmer took suggestions from the crowd for a name; he settled on "Jambone," which both reflects the beer's sweetness and the roasted bone marrow that Shobe served with it.

On the culinary side, the tempura lobster bisque served as a high point. The kitchen used the brewery's Flat Out Stout as a base, and the beer's flavor came through with each sip. A generous chunk of fried lobster meat offered a sweet counterpoint to the soup, even if it was a little hard to cut. 

Providing full service to a group of 20-plus isn't the normal model for the Whole Foods team, but they handled it admirably. Substantial portions and generous pours meant everyone felt like the $60, six-course dinner provided sufficient value. While I might have preferred the lamb to have been served more medium rare than medium well, the lemon and sour cream potatoes that came with them were utterly faultless.

Watch the video above to see more of Thursday night's action and to hear about the beer Ohmer is most looking forward to sharing. The next three dinners have already been scheduled: March 5 with Buffalo Bayou, April 2 with Whole Foods and May 7 with Southern Star. Contact the store for ticket information.

Whole Foods Post Oak lamb
Wood fired lamb rack at Whole Foods Post Oak's beer dinner. Photo by Eric Sandler