Say Hi to Bates
Meet our first man of food.
Food and beer. One of the finest partnerships since Bonnie and Clyde. Kurt and Courtney. C3PO and R2D2. We love finding the ideal beery friend for a plate full of meats, cheeses, cakes or anything else edible, and it's our mission to make the food options in our bars top notch across the country. We've always offered a selection of cheese and meat in our bars where we can, but we're now embarking on a new mission to step up our game and get some of the most exquisite, tasty food available to pair with your brews.
That's where Bates comes in! Bates has worked with food his whole life (really, he grew up butchering pigs in South Carolina!) and has joined the ranks of BrewDog bars to inject some seriously awesome foody goodness into our bars. He'll be heading up food evolution across our UK bars, working on menus and training up our kitchen staff to get quality and ingredients right up to the highest possible standard.
Warning for anyone who doesn't like dead animals, when we arranged a photo shoot with him for this here blog and he suggested butchering a lamb as the creative theme...we couldn't really say no...
"I hail from the Deep South of the States, South Carolina to be exact. I grew up cooking alongside pretty much every member of my family in all manners of food but in particular game, fish and BBQ (or pretty well any sort of way we could cook a hog). After growing up with food as a key part of my life, I've worked brewing beer, slinging pizzas, working in high end restaurants and everything in between. When I moved to the UK I worked with the MEATLiquor guys and in my spare time I taught butchery, beer & food pairing and brewing. I wanted new challenges, missed the wonderful world of beer, Brewdog came a-knocking and I'm a ready to get a-crackin'."
So what's Bates got in store for our bars?
"For the most part, the bars are going to be the same bastion of beer glory they have always been, but with higher quality, more carefully thought out food options. There is a particular style of beer bars and beer dives in the States that do the typical categories of bar food, they just do them mind-bendingly well; things like custom or house ground burgers, in house charcuterie, delicious and unusual veggie options, house made sauces...the possibilities are endless. I'm keeping my ideas under my hat but I'd like to bring the UK food and beer standards up to match the rest of the world like New York, Chicago, Copenhagen. The best is yet to come."
"Beer and food pairing is really subjective, but when I was in Chicago at Christmas I had a Green Flash Saison with Schiuan fried sweetbreads and it was fucking mind blowing! The zest and grains of paradise they use in the beer in contrast with the crispness of the batter and the pillowy texture of the sweetbread itself against the hot/numbing weirdness of the Schiuan pepper and the nature of a saison being highly effervescent and dry, cutting through that richness of sweetbreads, dear god it was like tongue kissing Jesus on a first date!"
And how does Bates suggest one goes about pairing food and beer? Simple...
"Bite it, drink it, does it taste fucking delicious? If so repeat until both are gone."
and if you wanna be a bit more methodical about it...
"Both need to compare or contrast (in a broad sense). In other words look for similar flavours in the food and the beer or conversely look for two things that have a bit of the opposite effect. If it is a fatty food like pork then you will need something that cuts that fat like a dry, crisp Saison or a hoppy IPA. Or on the other end of the spectrum, go with something that is very similar in robustness like a good full flavoured Scottish wee heavy or a smoked rauchbier."
And what is Bates' favourite beer?
"The next one."
We like this guy.
Keep your eyes peeled for more foody news from our bars in the not too distant future!