Sunday, 6 December 2009
What beer writers eat
The British Guild of Beer Writers dinner was last Thursday and you can read some of the thoughts of the well-deserved winners here, here and here, but you might be interested in the beer menu of the night (complete with tasting notes), which was brought together by myself and Mark Dorber.
Black Shetland Mussels and Margate clam chowder with chilli
MEANTIME PILSNER, Greenwich
With the clam chowder the Meantime Pilsner helps to highlight the clean fennel flavours and provides a counterpoint to the cream, while bitterness and carbonation scrub up the palate nicely.
Smoked venison with goats’ cheese, fig and apple juice terrine
DUCHESSE DE BOURGOGNE, West Flanders
The venison dish is über-complex with apple juice, fig sweetness, beetroot and red wine vinegar, smoke and cheese fattiness to deal with. An immediate flavour hook of acidity is needed to tie in, cut through and contrast. The Duchesse achieves this with its intensely fruity sourness balanced by aged oaky/malty flavours and spiciness.
Slow braised rabbit leg in a roasted rabbit saddle, white beans puree and chunky chips
RINGWOOD’S OLD THUMPER, Hampshire
An expressive and classic strong pale ale with buckets of complex apple skin fruitiness and layers of rich malt flavours. It matches the succulence of the rabbit perfectly and gives us the classic game and fruit/delicious savouriness.
Baked Camembert cheese with soused black grapes and breadsticks
FULLER’S VINTAGE ALE 2005, Chiswick
This mature barley wine has marmalade malt richness and good underlying acidity to balance the high butter fat of the Camembert and some funky horse blanket/brettanomyaces acidity to add to the farmyard appeal.
Chocolate tower, walnuts, Tonka beans and caramel
FLYING DOG’S GONZO IMPERIAL PORTER, Maryland
Coffee, chocolate, cola, vanilla, plus an appetising bitterness, lifts the whole combination into a heavenly dimension.