Stein has Bark to go with the Bite

TV chef Rick Stein declared spicy food to be the enemy of wine as he launched the latest expression of his Chalky’s beer brand.

rick-stein.jpg Chalky’s Bark beer, which is lifted by a subtle smattering of ginger on the finish, is now available on draught for pubs that want to have a beer to match with spicy food.

Speaking to the drinks business at the beer’s launch this week, Stein said: “Why would anyone sip a good wine with a spicy meal which will ruin the flavour? At the same time, beer can also be ruined by spicy dinners.

“The solution is to create a beer that both compliments the spices and also received a little lift itself from the meal.”
 
Good quality beers are enjoying a revival in pubs at the same time as pubs are improving the quality and range of their food offering.
 
Chalky’s Bark represents a second collaboration between Rick Stein and Sharp’s Brewery following the success of Chalky’s Bite. With both products the intention is to create a beer designed to be enjoyed with food.
 
Head brewer at Sharp’s, Stuart Howe, was originally challenged by Rick Stein to produce a distinctly English beer with the character, individuality and quality to match the best Belgian brews.
 
Stein said: “We developed Chalky’s Bite as the perfect beer to accompany seafood. The result was so satisfying that I asked Stuart to produce another beer with thirst quenching capabilities to go with spicy food. I wanted it to complement a range of South East Asian recipes I have been working on.
 
“Chalky’s Bark is a beer fragrant with the flavour of hops but at 4.5% abv its something you can enjoy a couple of bottles of."

Sharp’s Brewery is based in Rock in Cornwall just across the Camel Estuary from Padstow where Stein has his base as a chef, writer and broadcaster.

Chalky was Stein’s dog and the use of his name was a tribute to the patience shown during the many development and tasting sessions for the first beer.
 
Chalky’s Bark on draught was launched at The White Horse at Parsons Green, an iconic London pub famed for the quality of its food and drink.
 
Other pubs in the capital are also stocking Chalky’s Bark on draught to test the interest and demand for the beer, including The Old White Lion in Finchley, The Sun Inn in Barnes, The Garden Gate in Hampstead, The Crown Tavern on Clerkenwell Green and the Crown and Greyhound in Dulwich Village.

Alan Lodge, 12.08.2009

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