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Our Beer Sommelier Maggie Cubbler shows how even the most mundane meals can be lifted by beer
It’s hard to be inspired by the everyday meal. Sometimes we eat something out of habit, routine or just because we’re rushing from one thing to the next and need something to keep us going. But what if we were to take the humble, down-to-earth dinner and do just one thing to make it out of this world? We’re probably already doing it anyway—pair it with beer!
Finding unexpected delights in the ordinary doesn’t require molecular gastronomy or a special occasion beer that had been aged in a gypsum cave. Indeed, exploring fantastic pairings with things that we eat all the time brings a certain beauty to that which is common and, dare we say, life. There’s a reason why certain beer and food pairings are considered classic.
There’s no secret to these pairings and we’re not telling you anything new. But, as with anything, sometimes we need a reminder to stop, savour and enjoy. So, let’s take a look at some of the Great British Dinners and see which beers from some of the UK’s best breweries transform the simple to the supergalactic.
Great pairings with everyday foods
Meal: Fish and chips
Beer: Rooster’s Yankee
Why it works: Fish and chips don’t ask for much: just something crisp and refreshing to wash it all down. Rooster’s Yankee has a bright, juicy character, robust bitterness and drinkability that not only cleans all the greasy goodness away, but it takes any regret with it.
Meal: Bangers and mash
Beer: Harviestoun Old Engine Oil
Why it works: Creamy mashed potatoes and savoury sausages smothered in a rich gravy do best with a full-bodied beer. Harviestoun Old Engine Oil is a smooth porter with notes of chocolate but its assertive, roasty bitterness ensures this classic pairing isn’t too heavy on the tongue.
Meal: Spaghetti Bolognese
Beer: Thornbridge Tzara
Why it works: There’s no best way to make a spag bol, but a beer can make it better! Tomatoes have a sweet acidity to them, which the fruity notes in Thornbridge Tzara Köln-style beer match nicely. Bready malts complement the pasta while its crisp finish cleans away any richness.
Meal: Pepperoni pizza
Beer: Magic Rock Rapture
Why it works: Having pizza without beer is a questionable decision. Gooey cheese, sweet-and-savoury tomato sauce and a hand-tossed crust crave a flavourful, drinkable beer. Magic Rock Rapture is a hoppy, yet malt-forward amber ale with enough bitterness and body to match whatever’s piled high on the pie.
Meal: Classic hamburger
Beer: Buxton SPA
Why it works: A juicy hamburger with all the toppings begs for a refreshing beer to wash down each bite. Buxton SPA is an easy-drinking golden ale that is light and flavourful. A moderate bitterness and notes of grapefruit, orange and lemon zest are the ultimate hamburger helpers.
Pairing beer and food together isn’t all rules and science. That would make for a terribly boring dinner party! Instead, it’s the art of taking a good beer, some good food and partnering them together to make something even better. It’s the adventure of discovering what works, what doesn’t and what you like. It’s you taking a bite, taking a sip and then declaring your undying love for that imperial stout and chocolate cake.
Barrel-ageing beers is not a new thing, but it is getting more and more popular, and has probably never been as inventive. Adrian Tierney-Jones explores the new wave of ageing beer in wood
While some so-called off-flavours can be appropriate in certain styles others are not and may kill a little bit of your soul. Here's a quick guide to the most common off-flavours.
Father’s Day, 20th June 2021, is the special date in the calendar when we celebrate and give a nod to the Dads in our lives. It’s an excuse to spoil them with a little something to say thank you for being awesome. If you’re looking for inspiration for a craft beer-loving Dad, then check out our top 7 Father’s Day beer gifts.
Another can spins off the line at Stone Brewing’s new brewery in Berlin. The speed of the whole process is astonishing, a matter of seconds from empty can to filled and sealed. Those amazing hop aromas that Stone Brewing’s IPA is known for are locked in, only to escape as you release the swirling lemon, pine, grapefruit aromas in one of the world’s best IPAs. Cans are the perfect container for this beer. And here’s why.
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