Up until quite recently, the art of matching food with the perfect beverage was overwhelmingly considered the domain of sommeliers. To suggest that beer could be paired with anything more sophisticated than a meat pie or pretzels would have earned a quaffer’s scoff.
The explosion of craft beer, however, has spurned something of a revolution in terms of just where and how beer can be enjoyed, and (no surprises here) it goes dang well with delicious food. It’s no coincidence that the rise of the ‘gastropub’ has mirrored the rise of the craft beer industry.
No longer must the beer-lover push his bottles of amber ale to the back of the fridge for dinner parties to make room for the sauv blanc – beer can easily be the star of the beverage show, just as long as you educate yourself on which food is going to highlight its strengths. With autumn here, we’ve put together four food and beer pairings that will wash away the blues that come from mourning summer and take advantage of the cooler weather.
James Squire One Fifty Lashes Pale Ale and barramundi
The clean, fruity flavours of a pale ale work beautifully with the subtlety of fresh seafood with lemon. In autumn, though, a baked fish is a far better alternative to the cold seafood platter that would work with a pale ale as a summer dish. Try this simple recipe for baked barramundi with lemon and pair it with a James Squire One Fifty Lashes Pale Ale. Perfect in smaller quantities as an entrée or upsizing for a delicious main.
James Squire Stowaway IPA and beef madras
Beef madras curry may be an Indian creation, but contrary to its name, India Pale Ale (IPA) is not. It was initially brewed in England in the 19th century but quickly gained popularity in India, with demand for exports fuelling its evolution. The hoppy flavours in an IPA blend beautifully with curry spices such as tamarind and coriander, while its slight bubbly bitterness can cut through the richness of a hearty madras. We like this recipe coupled with a James Squire Stowaway IPA.
James Squire Jack of Spades Porter and smoked ham hock
Nothing says ‘winter is coming’ like a slow-cooked meal. (Actually, nothing says ‘winter is coming’ like a character from Game of Thrones, but for the sake of a delicious dinner, stick with us on this one.) The rich, chocolatey flavours of a porter go exquisitely well with anything smoked – and what better excuse to go a little bit medieval than with a sumptuous slow-cooked ham hock? This recipe works perfectly with a James Squire Jack of Spades Porter.
James Squire Nine Tales Amber Ale and poached pears
Pears are such an autumn-y food, and they’re at their best when served warm and sweet. Forget finding a dessert wine to match with your fancy after-dinner treats – the rich, toffee sweetness of the James Squire Nine Tales Amber Ale will make this recipe for roasted pears with Dulce de Leche sing.