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Raising the bar: cooking with beer

Published on November 7, 2017
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Cooking with the right beer can add delicious dimensions to your dishes. Lou Treseder of Driftwood Spars takes us on a tour of beers to complement your autumn menu

Driftwood Spars

‘When cooking with beer, avoid really hoppy beers because when they’re reduced the bitterness of the hops will make the food bitter,’ says Lou.


At the pub, slow roast belly pork with black pudding fritter is superbly offset with an ale reduction. Use a rich ale like Alfie’s Revenge and reduce it in a pan with sugar. You’ll be left with a delicious malty sauce that can dress any plate and perfectly complements succulent pork.
Drink with a refreshing bitter such as Black Flag Breweries’ White Cross IPA.

Fish course

Add a blond beer to a green herby sauce but make sure to burn the alcohol off. This is great with a lovely piece of hake.
Drink with a delicate white beer such as Einstock white ale from Iceland.


Slow braised beef is fabulous cooked in St Austell Brewery’s Mena Dhu Stout. It’s wholesome and wintery served with mash and green veg.
Drink with Chimay Blue.


The herby notes in Atlantic Breweries’ Fistral Blonde makes a delicious and palate-cleansing sorbet.


With Stir Up Sunday coming up in November, make a note to get hold of some Driftwood Spars Pudding Ale to use in your Christmas pudding.
Drink with St Austell Brewery’s Smugglers Vintage ale.

Also try

With Driftwood's brewing gurus on an Aussie mission to find out more about the amber nectar, Ric Marsden steps in with this month’s beery words of wisdom

Coffee stout

Creamy, rich and smooth, stout has been reinvented for a new generation of sippers. Find out what the hype's about with Jo Flanagan from Bristol's Small Bar

Braised beef

Pair this slow braised blade of beef from Paul Berry of The Swan at Bampton with your favourite local ale for a proper winter warmer