Usually when something is “big in Japan”, its popularity is rather less so over here. Craft beer, it seems, is an exception.
Summer is finally here. On a hot afternoon, with burger in hand and barbeque smoke in the air, nothing is quite as thirst-quenchingly delicious as a lager. Summer is finally here. On a hot afternoon, with burger in hand and barbeque smoke in the air, nothing is quite as thirst-quenchingly delicious as a lager. Here’s a round up of five craft lagers – in no particular order – that you’ll definitely want in your ice bucket.
Cask ale brewers don’t come much bigger than Marston’s. In fact the brewery, which also owns thousands of pubs across the country, is the biggest cask ale brewer in the world.
Tap. Click. Pshhh. The sound of opening a can of lager is almost synonymous with drinking beer, yet it seems that for British drinkers the mark of a “quality” beverage is still one that comes in a smart, glass, 500ml bottle. The drink aisles tell it all; continental lagers stacked in aluminium cans at one end, real ales and craft beers proudly lined up in bottles at the other. With a few exceptions, the bottles will certainly contain the better beer.
Nothing beats a bit of friendly competition. On Saturday, the beer scene had a taste of just that. Craft Beer Battle – hosted by Tweat Up, the crew behind other food related parties such us Ginstock and Ribstock – brought together discerning drinkers for an all day blind tasting session. Emphasis, as always, on the session.
It’s the final instalment and the final two courses of the beer matching menu; dessert and digestif. While it is always tempting to make a boozy finish – a brandy infused trifle or a stout cake – I find that can usually over-egg the pudding, as it were. Remember – it is going to be served with beer too!
The main course on most beer matching menus tends to be meat. Not just any meat, pork. And I’m not talking about a couple of chops or a sausage, I’m talking about roast suckling pig or trotters stuffed with chicken mousse. The kind of pig you’d eat at a feast.
Choosing a beer to match your starter can be more difficult than selecting the aperitif – which for me, usually fulfils the simple requirement of being just the lightest, most refreshing beer on the menu. Starters can be varied: a fresh seafood starter could just as easily warrant a stout as it could a bitter.
Last week I looked at the basic principles of matching beer with food; complementing, contrasting and cutting. For the next few weeks I’m going to going to look in more detail at specific food and beer pairings that are particularly delicious. So, from the beginning, this week will be the aperitif.
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