Top 10 food and beer pairings
8th March, 2016 by Darren Smith
Slowly, oh so very slowly, the restaurant world is waking up to the potential of beer as a pairing option in the same vein as wine.
Beer-curious gastronauts will have noticed that ale-based tasting menus are beginning to pop up in high-profile restaurants around the UK: Alyn Williams at the Westbury in Mayfair; Roux at Parliament Square, Indian restaurant Quilon in Buckingham Gate, Outlaw’s at The Capital…
Indeed, two Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw is one of the main flagbearers for beer pairing. His Mariners pub and restaurant in Rock, Cornwall, is a joint-venture with Cornish brewery Sharp’s.
As part of London Beer Week (February 22-28), Sharp’s invited db to attend a pop-up beer and food pairing masterclass hosted by its beer sommelier, Ed Hughes (pictured right). Here the wide varieties of styles and endless varieties of flavours that beer brings to the table was made plain.
With the food options designed by Nathan Outlaw, along with Zack Hawke (head chef, The Mariners), Paul Ainsworth (No 6, Padstow) and Paul Ripley (former head chef at Rick Stein’s Seafood Bar), Hughes guided attendees through pairings such as cods roe and hazelnut emulsion with a fruity, estery, fennel-infused Cornish pale ale; and sweet, unctuous slow-cooked beef brisket with woody-fruity flavoured red IPA – combinations as satisfying and harmonious as any wine-based equivalent.
All of which made us think it’s high time to start exploring beer’s gastronomic potential. With that in mind, we invited Ed Hughes to tell us his top 10 favourite beer and food pairings. His choices are revealed in the pages that follow…