In honor of beer’s biggest festival, we asked the owners of Savannah’s Moon River Brewing Company draft a party menu, with frothy companions to match.

By ProducerJulia Rutland WriterJeff Book
September 28, 2009
Squire Fox

We mix beer with everything―have you tried it with Lucky Charms?” Gene asks. He’s kidding, but he proves his point―that beer can enhance any meal―daily at his popular 10-year-old brewpub in Savannah. Gene and his partner, brewmaster John Pinkerton, offer six or more Moon River brews and plenty of beer-friendly fare. That winning combination works just as well when they get together for an outdoor dinner party.

The menu for today’s party features robust dishes in keeping with the autumn season, and beers to match. Gene funnels them from the bar taps into old-fashioned glass jugs. A sweet, grass-scented breeze blows off the salt marsh as guests sip Witbier, a Belgian-style wheat beer. It goes nicely with Crab Salad on cucumber slices and Roasted Garlic and Sun-dried Tomato Cheese Spread. As dusk approaches, everyone gathers under a large live oak dripping with Spanish moss and hung with candle lanterns. A crisp golden ale complements Waldorf Salad, while the amber Savannah Fest pairs perfectly with Gene’s Southern-style cassoulet―pork and beans with a French flair. Dessert is an unlikely but delicious ice-cream float, with scoops of vanilla bobbing in dark glasses of porter. “The porter’s kind of chocolatey, so it works,” Gene says.

A crescent moon rises―then several more, as everyone raises glasses emblazoned with the Moon River crescent to toast Gene and Kristine.

For information about Moon River Brewing Company, visit

Follow these links to find recipes from our October Feast.

Waldorf Salad
Frothy Companion: Crisp Golden Ale

Crab Salad
Frothy Companion: Belgian-Style Wheat Beer

Cassoulet with Bacon, Andouille, and Country Ribs
Frothy Companion:
Amber Oktoberfest-type Lager

Porter Ice Cream Float
For dessert, place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a glass and fill with porter beer.