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Beer ‘better for food pairing’ than wine

More so than wine, beer can be an ample aperitif, main course match and dessert drink, according to the UK’s Beer Sommelier of the Year.

Jane Peyton receiving her Beer Sommelier of the Year award in May (Photo: BII)

Beer writer and champion sommelier Jane Peyton has also encouraged those wishing to indulge in ale appreciation should throw away their lager glasses and instead embrace Champagne flutes and brandy tumblers.

“Beer isn’t just something you glug while watching the footie”, she told The Independent on Sunday. “It’s actually a much better pairing with food than wine, and there are so many special beers for fine dining.”

She advises looking at the flavours typically associated with wine-drinking occasions, like Champagne aperitifs or meaty meals paired with red wine, and finding a beer to suit.

“There are beers made with Champagne yeast and finished like Champagne: try Chapel Down’s Curious Brew as an aperitif, in a Champagne flute,” she said.

“For rich, meaty dishes, and even desserts, Fuller’s London Porter has magnificent chocolate and coffee flavours – it’s great with tiramisu.”

However, she admitted that wine’s dominance as a high-end drink, and the contrary image being associted with beer for so long, is difficult to overcome.

“Snobbery means it’s an uphill battle to convince people” of the superiority of beer over wine, she said. “Wine was the drink of people of high status for 5,000 years and the wine industry, with its good PR, has maintained that reputation.”

Peyton has written several books on beer and the world’s pubs, including Beer O’Clock and Pub Scene. 

In May, she was named as the Beer Sommelier of the Year by the British Institute of Innkeeping’s Beer Academy, and she has been invited to present the beers being served at the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group’s annual dinner held in Westminster this month.

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