I was sent this press release by R & R (the people who kindly sent me the Innis and Gunn,
I really enjoyed reading it so thought you might like to read it too….and maybe give it a go, it’s certainly something ill be giving a crack sometime soon.
Could Chablis with Oysters, Champagne with strawberries, and Lapsang Souchong with afternoon tea be a thing of the past?
In a special tasting held at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair, recently voted â€˜the best place for afternoon tea in London’ by the Tea Guild, Executive Chef Lee Streeton and his team treated a group of gastronomes to a selection of dream-worthy puddings matched with some very singular beers.
Rupert Ponsonby, Co-Founder of the Beer Academy, comments: â€œBeer with breakfast, elevenses or afternoon tea would have been commonplace in Centuries gone by, when water was undrinkable and the boiling of barley with hops was a much safer, and more enjoyable bet.
We know that beer goes wonderfully well with a variety of international cuisines but we have never before looked in such depth at beer with puddings.
â€œBeer and puddings are such happy bedfellows as they share so many complementary flavours. The roasting process of barley creates biscuit, caramel, coffee, honey, chocolate and liquorice flavours; whilst the hops can bring lychee, passion fruit, orange and lemon as well as subtle hints of herbs and spice. Not to be outdone, those under-sung heroes of the brewing process, the yeasts, also create extravagant flavours such as bananas, peaches, cloves and bubblegum. Perfect complements for so many British puddings.â€
Below are the puddings tasted with feedback on the
matchmakings from Rupert Ponsonby:
BEER & PUDDING MATCH
Sol 4.5% Mexican lager with Lime and Mango Eton Mess
£3.89 (4 bottle pack) widely available
The obligatory slice of lime inserted through the neck of the bottle gives a sharp edge to the beer, which combines easily and simply with the ripe mango, lime and creamy meringue. This is an easy liaison rather than a serious relationship.
Blue Moon 5.4% Belgian-style American wheat beer with Steamed Orange Pudding
£1.99 from Sainsbury’s
Voted equal top, the steamed orange sponge pudding with its glistening marmalade topping, merged seamlessly with the zesty orange and coriander spiked beer. The Blue Moon refreshes the palate whilst adding spice, lightness and acidity.
Grolsch Weizen 5.3% Dutch wheat beer with Poached Pear in White Wine
£1.98 from Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s
The Weizen’s sweet elderflowery aromas probably needed a richer sauce if this pairing was to reach its true potential. The wheat beer’s waves of exotic flavours overpowered the decidedly undressed pear. Maybe a sponge biscuit would have helped protect its modesty.
Schneider Aventinus 8.2% German wheat beer with Spotted Dick and Custard
Equal 1st choice, the spotted dick’s old-fashioned bready qualities, sultanas and musky cinnamon proved a perfect match to the ripe banana and clove qualities of the beer. Being a darker beer, this needs serving less chilled to give it better marriage potential.
Innis & Gunn 6.6% Scottish oak aged beer with Raspberry CrÃ¨me BrulÃ©e, and with chocolate fondant pudding
From £1.58, major supermarkets & Brown’s Hotel’s Donavan Bar
Sweeter beers such as this work well with caramelised puddings such as apple tart or bread and butter pudding; but too much creamy sweet pudding can nullify the beer’s caramel flavours. The addition of a tart fruit such as raspberries to the puddings helps.
Bacchus Frambozen 5% Belgian raspberry ale with Raspberry CrÃ¨me BrulÃ©e; and with chocolate fondant pudding
This was appreciated with the hot chocolate pudding, for which it reigned supreme; with the crÃ¨me brulÃ©e there were some big fans and some serious doubters…. but red fruit beers and chocolate puds are a beautiful contrast. Opposites attract!
HIX Oyster Ale 5.5% English stout with Raspberry CrÃ¨me BrulÃ©e; and with chocolate fondant pudding
Mark Hix’s restaurants
Pairing a dark, oyster ale with creme brulÃ©e sounds mighty fishy; but with the beer chilled, it became chocolaty and coffee-like, and much leaner. Warm it up and more flavours emerge, but for those who don’t like stout’s balminess and smokey hops, chilling helps.
Worthington’s White Shield 5.6% English India Pale Ale with Brown’s Ginger Parkin
£1.99, Sainsbury’s & Brown’s Hotel’s Donavan Bar
This is a big, big beer with loads of tangy, marmalade hops; so pairing it with an equally assertive ginger parkin was one of those love-it-or-hate-it moments. But both were formidable, assured and packed with great flavours.
Goose Island IPA 5.9% from Chicago with Pannacotta with Caramelised Blood Oranges
From £1.69, www.beerhere.co.uk & www.beersofeurope.co.uk
This American IPA is a hophead’s dream, with bucketfuls of sharp lemon, tangerine and lychee flavours. Matching with cream and yoghurt was a hard task, combining contrasting and complementary flavours.