By Kinley Beshers
For the Opelika Observer
Red Clay Brewing Company is kicking off the summer with its new yummy and spontaneous Thursday night activity, Fork & Pint Chef Series.
The brewery will be inviting chefs from restaurants around the Auburn-Opelika area to come to their brewery and whip up meals of their choice for attending customers.
The event begins every Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Red Clay Brewing Company located at 704 N. Railroad Ave. in Opelika.
The brewery will clear out space for the chefs to come and bring any equipment such as fryers, grills or pre-made elements and ingredients needed to make their scrumptious recipes right in front of their audience.
The dishes are of the chef’s choice each week, which could be appetizers, entreés and/or desserts.
These recipes can be from the menu of the restaurant they cook for or something new, whichever they decide.
The brewery hosted this event during the month of April but held off during the month of May because of staffing issues across the country.
During the month of April, the brewery featured Chef Miguel Gueroa from The Grove Station who cooked his audience a Puerto Rican pietà with red beans and a dessert.
On June 3, Chef Chris McBride from Irish Bred Pub prepared a crawfish étouffée, jumbo shrimp creole, crab cakes and more.
John Corbin, one of the owners, said the event has been doing very well, averaging 80 guests per night.
“Usually as a brewery, we’re invited to do tap-takeovers and different events at restaurants,” Corbin said. “We’ve been doing that for years and we were trying to figure out, what would be a good idea to boost some of our Thursday night sales? Most restaurant businesses are also slower on Thursday nights, so how can we get some restaurants involved?
“Instead of us going to them and them putting a lot of effort into it like they typically do, why don’t we return the favor? So we’ve been inviting a lot of restaurants that have supported us in the past, especially through COVID.”
Corbin is eager to host the rest of the June series chef line-up, as follows:
June 10 – Chef Brian Paolina from Lucy’s in Auburn
June 17 – Chef Rich Bright from Zazu Gastropub in Opelika
June 24 – Chef Marc Osier from Ariccia Italian Trattoria & Bar in Auburn.
“This is an opportunity for them to not only feature their menu, but also feature their catering menus or maybe some of their new recipes,” Corbin said.
The brewery will not sell pretzels or pizza during any Fork and Pint event — only its beer.
Appetizers usually range from $6 to 8 and entrees from $10 to 15.
The events are scheduled to last until 9 p.m. and are free of charge upon entrance. Admission tickets will not be necessary — just walk right in.
Per usual at the brewery, dogs and children are allowed and you must be 21 or older to order alcohol.
Corbin said if Fork and Pint continues to be successful during the month of June, he will extend it through July and try to feature as many restaurants as possible.
Red Clay Brewing Company also hosts Brains & Brews trivia night every Tuesday at 7 p.m. and plans on holding a Fall Bash this year.