It’s International Beer Day, which gives real ale and craft beer enthusiasts around the world the opportunity to celebrate the art and skill of brewing.
The beer market has come a long way in the UK over the past couple of years thanks to the boom in microbreweries, brew pubs and craft beer, all of which offer seasoned quaffers of the amber nectar more choice than ever before. From citrussy IPAs to malty ambers and nutty bitters, there’s a taste to cater for every palette and, seemingly, a beer to go with every dish. Even with the simplest of recipes, pairing your meal with the right beer can elevate it from ordinary to extra special.
So, to celebrate national beer day, here’s our pick of the ultimate food/beer combos:
Chargrilled steak, with a hoppy American IPA: You need a bold, tangy and citrussy beer to hold up to the charred, meaty, metallic tang of a perfectly-cooked medium-rare steak. So, IPAs, particularly American ones, are the perfect choice. This hop-forward style of beer packs big citrus and herbal flavours with every swallow, which stand up to the caramalised, buttery and smoky notes of the flame-licked beef.
Seafood and Chorizo Paella, with a Mediterranean Lager: The ultimate Spanish peasants dish, paella packs a flavour punch with every single mouthful. Unctuous saffron-infused rice, hunks of salty seafood and spicy sausage are all bound together in an explosion of Mediterranean flavour. To balance, you need a drink that is crisp, dry and fizzy enough to refresh the mouth after each bite. Latin lagers, such as San Miguel, Sol or Estrella usually do the trick.
Oysters and Stout: This classic beer and seafood combination is a match made in heaven. Intuitively, the briney, creamy oysters may seem better suited to a cool, crisp glass of white wine, yet the bitter, toasty, chocolate and treacle notes of a good stout perfectly balance the salty sweetness of the oyster.
Chicken curry with Indian beer: Whether you like it hot and spicy, fruity and fragrant or mild and creamy, classic Indian beers such as Cobra or Kingfisher are brewed to stand up to the bold flavours of a good curry. Both are crisp, dry, sweet and slightly carbonated, to help wash down the flavour and cleanse the tongue after each bite.
Spaghetti Bolognese and Belgian-style Wheat Beer: The classic spag bol is a hearty dish. Comforting pasta covered in a deep and rustic ragu which combines the sweetness and acidity of tomatoes with the umami of well-cooked beef needs a beer that is light but has a depth in strength and flavour. Wheat beer, with its fragrant, herbal, orangey notes can provide a perfect counterbalance to cut through the fatty proteins in the sauce.
Of course, stocking the right types of beer to complement your menu is one thing. Storing them properly to ensure they taste at their very best when served is quite another.
Temperature control is everything.
If beer is not stored at its optimum temperature, it can quickly lose flavour and character. If it’s cans or bottle your storing, True’s refrigerated back bar coolers assure colder product temperatures, holding a constant chill of between 0.5°C and 3.3°C to keep your beers in peak condition. And if you’re serving beer on draught, our direct draw beer dispensers hold the same temperatures from the first pint to the last drop. So, if you’re looking to serve the perfect pint on International Beer Day, True can give you confidence in your beer.
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