Not the usual food pairings...
Beer and food is a combination as old as time. For as long as we’ve gathered to enjoy your favourite tipple, consciously or not, we’ve been food pairing. Whether it’s a crisp lager next to a spicy curry, a picnic out in the park with a cold can or just an open bag of crisps with your favourite pub pint... food pairings are everywhere.
Over the last year, we’ve held a few pairing events, using cheese, snacks and even cocktails! We’ve even got a very special barrel aged beer and food pairing event coming up with our friends at Wild Beer Co. (This is currently postponed, but more announcements soon!)
To celebrate the return of a regular run of collab beers, we’ve teamed up with Thornbridge and Harbour Brewing to suggest some unique foods to pair with the recent beers we brewed with them - Invisible Deck and Cold Plunge. Try them out, and let us know what you think!
Invisible Deck with Thornbridge
Invisible Deck is a special collaboration brewed with our friends and inspirations at Thornbridge. It's a trick of the eyes and the taste buds, but uniquely also has an ace up its sleeve as our first NITRO white stout. The creamy pour adds a real luxurious feel to this drink, which is full of flavour from the use of honey malts, oats, liquorice root, coffee and cacao. It's a must-try. Despite the gorgeous sunset golden appearance, with your eyes closed you could not decipher it from a ‘normal’ stout. There are sweet notes, and deep roasted under-tones... so what goes well with this?
We recommend to pair with… Fudge!
The creaminess of the fudge is mimicked in the thick nitrogenated body of the beer. Also, the fudge brings some vanilla, which complements the coffee and chocolate notes in the beer nicely. Sweetness works well, too. We always love pairing sweet with sweet.
Liquorice is often a ‘love it or hate it’ element, but it’s important to remember that the liquorice here is actually liquorice root, not the sticky black sweet format. Used sparingly, it helps bring sweetness, which layers well with the fudge and vanilla, and chocolate from the beer. Coffee brings it back a bit from being too sweet with a subtle bitterness.
Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Torte
For a slightly more opposing take, the bitterness of the dark chocolate in this dessert balances out the sweetness of the beer, and complements the chocolate notes that are already present. The acidity from the raspberry cuts through the richness and rounds out the flavours, but also acts as a palate cleanser, helping to create balance.
Thornbridge recommends to pair with…
James, beer sommelier says: BBQ ribs
“For us stouts and BBQ are already a great match with the robust roastiness of the beer able to handle the rich flavour and fattiness of the ribs. The big coffee kick from Invisible Deck takes the place of a decedent coffee rub I would use otherwise to really accentuate the flavour. The liquorice root is a great complement, adding a little extra complexity and depth to the pairing while not overpowering the BBQ”
“Straight up complementary for dessert, the creamy nitro and lactose working in tandem with the airy body of the Tiramisu for a velvety smooth mouthfeel. The coffee already works well as a ballast in both beer and desert to keep the sweetness from being too much, combined this will be accentuated ensuring a good balance right the way through the pairing. A light bitterness at the end of the beer helps to refresh the palate and stop it from becoming cloying.”
Cold Plunge with Harbour Brewing
Our first ever collaboration with Harbour comes in the form of a Cold IPA, brewed together simultaneously, albeit 230 miles apart! This emerging style involves fermenting at a low temperature to maintain a clean, crisp beer with a beautifully distinct hop profile.
We recommend to pair with… Chicken Burger with Pineapple (Yes... Pineapple)
For Cold Plunge a grilled chicken burger with pineapple on a brioche bun would work great. Grilled chicken goes brilliantly with a West Coast style beer, with the freshness and super sharp fruit flavour of the pineapple complementing the tropical hops. The sweet and buttery nature of the brioche helps to bring out the malts, adding huge depth of flavour.
Creamy Blue Cheese Dip with Celery sticks
The tang of the cheese will elevate the fruit, with the abv of Cold Plunge enough to stand up to the bold flavour, and the freshness of the celery matching the freshness of the beer. If you’re not a celery fan, this also works well with carrots or even cucumber, for a super clean approach.
Harbour Brewing recommends to pair with…
Adam from Harbour Brewing Says: Pizza
“I think Paddle Out Cold IPA goes very well with one of our 20” pizzas from The Atlantic Bar in New Polzeath. Mainly the Belgio Dolce with Pecorino Sauce, fried kale, Nduja, Honey and Chilli oil.
Burn and bite of the Nduja and chilli oil are refreshingly cut by the hop bite of Paddle out slowing the burn ever so slowly.” If you like the sound of this and you’re closer to Berkshire than Cornwall, stay tuned for more information on the brand new pizza offering coming to the Tap Yard this summer!
Our current Father’s Day beer gift bundles feature Invisible Deck, Cold Plunge and a ‘Happy Father’s Day’ fudge from a local artisan producer. All the bundles come with a tasting booklet and access to a pre recorded Father’s Day beer tasting.
Plus, when you buy a bundle you could be in with a chance of winning a second bundle, just for you!