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Raising the bar

Published on April 13, 2016
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With brewing gurus Lou and Pete on an Aussie mission to find out more about the amber nectar, Driftwood Spars’ assistant brewer Ric Marsden steps in with this month’s beery words of wisdom

Think food and wine and what springs to mind? White with seafood, red with a stew. But can you really do the same with beer?

‘Oh yes you can! But don’t be scared of breaking a few rules,’ says Ric. ‘There’s an order to the style of beers, which can reflect the flavours in a dish, so for example, a light, herbal, fruity ale like Forest Blonde is great with hummus, olives and crusty bread, while beef burgers are good paired with a dark, smoky, peppery ale like Black Heads Mild. And  when it comes to dessert, a strong, tasty red ale, like Alfie’s Revenge is great with a chocolate fondant.’

That said, rules are meant to be broken and can enable you to create interesting relationships between the flavours of the food and beer.

‘Basically, it’s the brewer’s recipe of malts, hops, yeast and water that creates a beer’s flavour, and a little research can tell you what goes into the particular ales you enjoy. What kind of hop? Does it use roasted malts? What’s the conditioning method? It’s all there for exploration. Have fun!’

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