All photos by Marcos Espinoza (@FidelGastro)

20 dishes. 16 beers. 36 flavors. A Wu-Tang Clan-inspired beer dinner is truly nothing to fuck with.

The brainchild of ShawneeCraft Brewing Co.’s Dave Goldstein, “Enter the 36 Flavas” was conceived while eating a seemingly endless family-style meal at Han Dynasty—Philly’s beloved Sichuan restaurant, which also has a location in New York. Owner Han Chiang hosts beer dinners regularly, but this was his first time drawing inspiration from Wu-Tang’s iconic 1993 debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

“Han is all about family-style, and the dishes don’t stop coming once you sit down, especially if you’re friends with him,” says Goldstein. To use the immortal words of Method Man, the chef knows how to keep “feeding you, and feeding you, and feeding you.”

Goldstein continues, “We were having dinner at Han Dynasty and staring at what had to be a dozen plates and I thought, Shaolin Family Style. 36 Flavors. Holy shit, let’s do a Wu-Tang-themed beer dinner here! When Han dropped the thirteenth plate on our table, I asked him what he thought about it, and he was way on board. Initially, he wanted to serve 36 courses, but we thought that might be a bit much, so we split the difference between beer and food and brought Dogfish Head on board to round out our selection.”

Shaolin Family Style. 36 Flavors. Holy shit, let’s do a Wu-Tang-themed beer dinner!

Wednesday night’s sold-out event began with a brown-bagged bottle of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch, a spring roll, crispy shrimp-stuffed toast, and a du-rag. Then, the kitchen brought the motherfuckin’ ruckus. Han’s specialty is Sichuan cuisine, and he doesn’t shy away from heat. Paired with some seriously big beers like Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA, the feast was glorious torture (motherfucker)—plate after plate and pitcher after pitcher until some diners waved their napkin in surrender. Some even tapped out before dessert hit the table.

The event was so successful that it might be held annually, which gives you plenty of time to forget how hard it is to eat 20 plates of food and drink 16 beers in one sitting. Although, with so many brews on offer (and a seemingly endless supply of them), most people probably didn’t remember what happened the next day. Check out the photos and tasting notes below for a glimpse of what a Wu-Tang beer dinner looks and tastes like.


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Crispy Shrimp-stuffed Toast

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Paired with: Dogfish Head Midas Touch
Tastes like: Ch-chick-POW! This was the perfect way to get the night started.

Spring Roll

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Paired with: Dogfish Head Midas Touch
Tastes like: Same damn ‘lo sweater. Better than your average spring roll, but a spring roll nonetheless.

Wood-Ear Mushrooms in Red Chili Sauce

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Paired with: Shawnee Craft Apiarius/Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron
Tastes like: Cocaine straight from Bolivia. My mouth was numb through at least two courses after this.

Dry Pepper-Crusted Beef Tendon

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Paired with: Shawnee Craft Apiarius/Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron
Tastes like: The impact of roundhouse kicks from black belts. The heat didn’t stop coming.


Sichuan-Style Pickled Vegetables

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Paired with: Shawnee Craft Raspberry Blanche/Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
Tastes like: Pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers—but pickled.

Ma La Double Shreds

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Paired with: Shawnee Craft Raspberry Blanche/Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
Tastes like: The technique alone blew doors straight off the hinges. I don’t know what double shreds are, but I now know that I love them.

Spicy Beef Jerky in Chili Oil

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Paired with: Shawnee Craft Raspberry Blanche/Dogfish Head 60 MinuteIPA
Tastes like: Tossing and flossing, this jerky was awesome. It caused more family feuds at our table than Richard Dawson.

Stir-fried Prawns in Spicy Minced Pork Sauce

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Paired with: Dogfish Head Bitches Brew/Shawnee Craft Belgian Tripel/Dogfish Head 120 Minute Imperial IPA
Tastes like: Survey says, you’re dead. This round of beers separated the men from the boys. The food, thankfully, became less spicy. The lights started to dim, and we still had seven courses left.

Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetables in Ma La Sauce

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Paired with: Dogfish Head Bitches Brew/Shawnee Craft Belgian Tripel/Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
Tastes like: The greatest samurai in the empire.


Sliced Lamb Stir-Fried with Fresh Sichuan Peppers

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Paired with: Dogfish Head Bitches Brew/Shawnee Craft Belgian Tripel/Dogfish Head 120 Minute Imperial IPA
Tastes like: Babies crying, brothers dying.

Dry Fried Bamboos with Preserved Vegetables

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Paired with: Shawnee Craft Saison Cuvee/Dogfish Head Theobroma
Tastes like: Catching the blast of a hype verse.

Shredded Tea Smoked Duck Stir Fried with Long Hot Pepper

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Paired with: Shawnee Craft Saison Cuvee/Dogfish Head Theobroma
Tastes like: A fatal flying guillotine.

Flower-Shaped Chicken Slices in Spicy Bean Sauce

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Paired with: Dogfish Head Bitches Brew/Shawnee Craft Belgian Tripel/Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
Tastes like: A new way to do Clarks now. The last dish before the dessert course warranted a round of high fives. At this point, our table had forged a bond stronger than brotherhood.

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