Last night we headed out to a Slow Food and Beer Matching event hosted jointly by the London Branch of ‘Slow Food’ and East London & City CAMRA.
And what a brilliant idea it was too – my thanks go out to Bill Green of ELAC for choosing the beer and arranging the venue. £20 bought you 8 combinations to sample – each with their own subtleties.
(The 8th was a lager therefore needed to be chilled).
Pretty simple concept really – we were guided though the beer by our host, Bill, and after pouring a sample (around 1/3rd pint) some food would arrive. Taste, match and enjoy. So without much futher ado… here’s what I thought.
1. Umbel Magna (3.8%) + Serrano Ham Crostini
Beer has a lovely sweet start. Cuts though the grease of the cheese/ham. Very nice contrast between the flavours.
2. Heather Ale (5%) + Quail Egg wrapped in Haggis (a la scotch egg) with Hollandaise
Mmmm. Nice. The spicy of the haggis works really well with the floral flavoured beer.
3. Taiphoon (4.2%) + Thai Chicken and Coconut Satay (with Sweet Chilli Sauce)
Not very keen on this. The beer didn’t really have a strong enough flavour to match the Chicken, especially with the sweet chilli sauce.
4. Dandelion (4.5%) + Tempura Roast Pimento
Love the pimento and the very subtle dandelion flavours. Works well for me.
5. Grozet (5.0%) + Wild Boar and Apple Chipolata
The only lager amongst the set tonight, I was really impressed with this. It complimented the sausage really well and was very drinkable on it’s own. Apparently it’s main flavour was Gooseberry. Having never eaten a gooseberry I can’t confirm that! Nice anyway.
6. Greenwich Meantime Chocolate Strong Ale (6.5%) + Beef Teriyaki
Flavoured with Chocolate rather than Chocolate Malt. Not really my thing as a beer. Goes OK with the Beer, but perhaps a little too similar as both are quite “heavy” flavours. Apparently they had to switch supplier of Chocolate as the quakers who own Cadbury’s were non too impressed their chocolate was being used to brew beer!
7. Greenwich Meantime Raspberry Wheat (6.5%) + Mini Summer Pudding
Based on a weissbeer style this was ok, though I think I would have preferred a non-flavoured weissbeer. It didn’t match the pudding very well either – the sweetness of the pudding made the beer taste uber-tarte.
8. Chalky’s Bite (6.8%) + Breaded Chilli Camembert
Beer and cheese combo works very well. This beer is flavoured with fennel and is the first of the strong beers to taste strong in alcohol. Provides an intermission to the cheese flavours. Lovely.
If you get offered the chance to do something similar, take it up! A very enjoyable and inexpensive night!