Beer is considered by some more food friendly than wine. There is certainly more room for variety. Where wine is limited by two ingredients - grapes and yeast, or three if you count the wood-ageing process, beer outshines it with barley (which provides sweetness), hops (bitterness), yeast (which can lend a fruity or earthy flavour) as well as a host of spices, nuts, chocolate and fruit.
Over the next few months Beer Mag will be exploring what’s on offer, discovering food pairings and sourcing scrumptious recipes that include beer in their ingredient lists.
Let’s start with a classic, beer and cheese.
These two have a lot in common. They both grew up together in the kitchens of farmer’s wives and Trappist monks. The grain used to produce beer is often the same as that which is fed to milk-animals to produce cheese.
Both need a period of resting or fermentation; even their industries bare a certain resemblance: both are gathering momentum, propelled forward by devoted enthusiasts creating new world grooves from old world symphonies.
But critically, these two share earthy, yeasty, fruity, rich, floral flavours which, when matched correctly, fuse together in perfect harmony on the palette in ways that wine can only dream of.
As an added bonus, beers prickly carbonation bubbles compliment the experience by cleansing the tongue of the fats found in cheese and readies the palette for the next taste.
So next time you reach for a piece of artisanal, handcrafted cheese, save the Chardonnay and try an Ale or Lager instead!