Alpareno Restaurant Group partnered with Tripping Animals Brewing Co. to create “The Forager,” an exclusive ale available at all Alpareno restaurants in Miami (Orno and Mamey at THesis Hotel Miami and the Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded Ghee Indian Kitchen) as well as Alpareno’s seasonal dinner series “Sundays at the Rancho.” The beer is a passion project for Chef Niven and his collaborator Mohamed “Mo” Alkassar, who spearheaded the partnership with Tripping Animals. The duo was recently listed as James Beard Award semifinalists in the “Best Restaurateur” category.
“My partner allows us to consistently deliver on our promise to serve stellar food using the freshest local ingredients across all our restaurants. We place just as much effort into ensuring our beverage program complements our food in the same way,” Alkassar says. “We are thrilled to partner with our friends at Tripping Animals to create a beer that illustrates our commitment to the local community here in South Florida.”
The Forager name was inspired by Chef Niven, who forages fresh ingredients for Alpareno’s restaurants every morning at his Homestead farm, Rancho Patel.
The Forager will be served in a unique can, conceptualized by Chef Niven and Alkassar, who are illustrated by Tripping Animals Art Director David Leon as “tripping” animals. Chef Niven is pictured as a tripping goat, holding a knife and sporting the floral shirt he wears regularly. Alkassar is depicted as a vivacious tucan snacking on chanterelle mushrooms that they forage in Coral Gables.
The Forager is a hazy IPA, which goes through double fermentation, giving it a crisp flavor profile with notes of citrus, cashmere and Amarillo hops, offering a full-bodied beer with a bright finish.
“The Forager was brewed using a blend of specialty malts, which provided a full-bodied, flavorful base for the beer,” said Ignacio Montenegro, co-founder and executive creative director of Tripping Animals Brewing Co. “The recipe includes a blend of hops from the USA, which give the beer a bright, juicy and citrusy hop character.”
According to Chef Niven, The Forager goes best with Mamey’s Prince Edward Island Mussels, Conch Fritters and Ceviche; Orno’s Sunray Venus Clam Bucatini, Rancho Shikou Eggplant and Whole Grilled Branzino; and Ghee’s Chicken Tikka Masala, Spicy Papaya Salad and Ghost Pepper Cheddar Naan.
“The beer is nice to sip and goes really well with the food we serve,” said Chef Niven. “I love pairing it with seafood and spicy dishes because it balances the flavors and ingredients beautifully.”
The Forager is available for $14 per can at all Alpareno restaurants and served at Rancho Patel during special events. It is priced at $8 during happy hour at Mamey on the third-floor rooftop at THesis Hotel, available daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
(Photo credit: Alpareno Restaurant Group)