Beer & Food Pairing with Bates
Some epic grub with some tasty brews
Earlier this month we introduced you to one of our latest recruits, Bates! Taking the helm championing food in our bars, he has worked in more foody roles worldwide than Adam Richman, so he really know his stuff!
We asked Bates for his best foody suggestions to pair with some of our regular brews, and he did not disappoint! Check out some of the sexiest food pairings known to man below, and let us know what your verdict is.
Punk IPA & Vietnamese Pho
This dish has endless variations. The one thing all Phos have in common is that they have a beautiful, deeply layered stock as their backbone. From there, the sky is the limit and you can really make the soup your own with a myriad of ingredients like coriander, birds eye chili, fish sauce, lime, bean sprouts...the list goes on!
All of these flavors really go with the citrus, almost chewy hop notes found in Punk, plus everyone loves a good hoppy pale to cut through fat and heat, which Pho packs in bucket loads.
5am Saint & Patty Melt with hash browns, cheese and jalapenos
With the bleary-eyed 5am sunrise, you gotta get filthy with your food. So this is a top late night / early morning treat from Waffle House (if you’re not familiar this is a 24-7-365 diner all along the Southern states where you can get any myriad of heart clogging food, coffee stiff as a minister's dick, and some truly interesting sites...!).
This is the patty melt with hashbrowns, smothered in cheese and diced jalepenos. The 5am does so much with this dish, its hoppiness cutting through all that fatty burger meat and the butter dripping off of the sauteed onions and mushrooms, while its malt backbone brings together the crisp pop that the griddled meat crust has developed. Finally, the malt sweetness intermingles with the pickled jalapenos on the hashbrowns. 5am can put on a bowtie and do fine dining but it shines best down in the dirty trenches of food.
Hardcore IPA & Seared Onglet Steak
This style of big IPA is one of the kings of food pairing, as it will make friends with a whole slew of dishes. But lets keep it simple with a seared onglet steak (AKA butchers filet, a little known, lesser cut that kicks around near the kidneys, and takes on a bit of minerally offal taste as well).
This is dead simple. Sure, you could dress it up with side dishes, but for my money take the onglet, let it come up to room temperature, hit it with a load of coarse salt and cracked pepper, get a cast iron pan, screaming red hot, and sear that shit for about 2 minutes a side. While it's resting, make a compound butter by mixing minced garlic and flat parsley to a good quality butter. After about 5-7 minutes' rest, slice the onglet and drop that compound butter on it and let it melt. Shove that in your pie hole, take a nice draw on the Hardcore IPA, and sit back and let the fireworks happen.
Crusty seared meat with a red, soft, giving texture embraces all the big hop flavors and hints of sweetness from waves of malt mix with that butter. Before you slip into euphoria, take a moment when you swallow to appreciate that little lingering hop bitterness and slight alcohol burn like a good bourbon.
Yes it is that good.
Cocoa Psycho & Pumpkin Enchiladas with Mole Negro
Hell I’ll give one for the veggies. You have to spread the love and this pairing kicks butt.
This dish is a little hard to come by in the UK (ok impossible, but not too tough to make at home with a little ingenuity). All you need to do is google Rick Bayless and find his mole negro recipe and I’m certain you can find a solid enchilada recipe from him as well. He is a boss when it comes to Mexican food. I mean the end. Period. Stick a knife in it, he is pretty much king.
Once you have your dish together, and I urge you ro give it a try, you will find it just spars with the Cocoa Psycho flavours. The light, creamy texture and sweetness of the pumpkin bring to life the coffee notes. The char of the mole is like a perfectly engineered machine carrying the toasted dark malt notes to your brain. The heat of the peppers is cooled by the sweet notes of the residual sugars in the beer (why do you think Jamaican food is served with stout so often?) while being amplified by its light carbonation.
Come to think of it, using a little bit of the Cocoa Psycho in your mole wouldn’t be a bad idea. This dish, much like the beer, isn’t to be tackled lightly. A lot of time and effort goes into the making of them both, so once you’ve tried your hand at making your own mole, sit down with the Psycho and take a minute to appreciate your work as well as that of the brewers who made this little piece of dark art in beer form.