I talk kinda fast and a little loud at the best of times so god help anyone that comes along to an event where I’m co-hosting. I attribute my loud/too fast talking to a) excitement b) nerves and c) I’ve probably had a beer or two before you’ve even seen me.
Beersine: Mitch uses beer and all the ingredients you’d find in a brewery to create delicious beer inspired food
On Monday night, as part of WA Beer Week, I co-hosted an event with my friend Mitch of Beersine. It was something he asked me to be a part of a while ago and I said ‘yes’ because it’s Mitch. His food is amazing and I love the way he approaches it – nothing pretentious, all delicious and with close attention to detail.
Our event was the ‘Beer and Food Masterclass’ where we presented three dishes with two beers per dish to try and show that there are no rules when it comes to beer and food matching. One beer can go just as well with a dish as another, each will bring something different to the party and, quite frankly, that’s where all the fun comes into it.
We served up Eagle Bay Kolsch on arrival alongside Beersine Pale Ale Cheddar and homemade soft pretzels.
Delicate, flavoursome and highly drinkable, Eagle Bay Kolsch is a sensational beer to start a night with. Zesty citrus, light bready malts and a super dry finish. The beer cut effortlessly through the soft and tangy cheese that is made using Feral Hop Hog. The soft warm pretzels were magic. I would have taken a photo but I was too busy stuffing my face.
“Saison is not just versatile – it’s downright promiscuous”
Garrett Oliver, The Brewmaster’s Table
With their delicate nature and baffling complexity, Saison’s might be the perfect food beer. They are farmhouse ales originating from a French speaking region of Belgium where, before the miracle of refrigeration, it made the most sense to brew beer in winter. This gave farm workers something to do since there’s nothing to harvest in winter whilst providing a nutritious and refreshing beer to enjoy whilst working the fields in summer. Of course today you wouldn’t really go and recommend a 6-point-something ABV beer whilst operating farming equipment but hey, things were different back then.
Chevalier Saison: 6% ABV | Beechworth, Victoria | #7 in The Critics’ Choice Australia’s Best Beers 2014
The saison we served was from Victorian brewers Bridge Road. Tart and dry with citrus and a little sweetness, it was a great match to the salad. The sweetness of the beer was heightened by the mango in the salad whilst the beer’s bubbles cut through the chunks of macadamia nut. The fresh mint in the salad provided a clean and refreshing zest that went well with the beer’s bright citrus characters too.
The second beer served with the salad came from Perth’s newest brewery, Homestead in the Swan Valley. This Hefeweizen, a German style wheat beer, is just so damn beautiful. A graceful beer that is full of fresh banana, spice and clove. As with the saison pairing, the beer’s banana notes were a great complement to the mango in the salad. The spice in the beer gets a good omphf from fresh prawns.
We served up the Colonial Altbier and we were lucky enough to have Paul Wyman, brewer at Colonial, at the table to talk about this beer. It’s a softer approach to pale ales compared to the big ballsy pale ales that are now so prevalent. A traditional German ale that’s nutty, biscuity and peppery and was a good match to the rich meat and spice of the curry.
On the other end of the pale ale spectrum there’s Bootleg Speakeasy IPA that’s got so much hop character bursting from it that it could be a starburst lolly. Caramel malt backs up the citrusy, tropical fruit hops and together it was a good combination for the rendang curry. Hops tend to accentuate chilli but because heat wasn’t the focus for this style of curry it didn’t turn your palate into a fiery world of pain. Instead it seemed to freshen up the dish, adding a brightness to the dense rich meat. Meanwhile the caramel in the beer was a nice backdrop for the same rich meat flavours.
I think it’s safe to say that we finished the night with a bang. Mitch did a particularly amazing job on this one.
Once again I dragged poor Paul from his seat to chat about the Colonial Porter, I love this beers smooth chocolatey notes and roasty flavours. I could drink pints of this beer all year around.
The Bridge Road B2 Bomber Mach 4.0, a beer produced annually to celebrate the breweries birthday, is stupidly good. Previously I only had a taster but I remember loving this beer. There’s a lot going on here from the Belgian yeast giving off fresh fruit notes behind the black IPA’s big roast, chocolate and booze flavours.
Mitch’s dessert of Bahen & Co chocolate mousse was divine. The sweet strawberries, smokey Laphroaig and earthy rosemary was a weirdly incredible addition but it added layers of happy flavours over each beer. The mousse not at all overwhelmed by each beers big malty chocolate and roast flavours whilst the rosemary, whisky and strawberries cut through the chocolate and added so much to each mouthful.
THANK YOU to Sophie for letting us use Taste Budds Studio to host the event and Homestead, Eagle Bay, Colonial, Bridge Road and Bootleg for donating the beers for the night.
And thank you from me to Mitch for asking me to do this event, I loved it, I was nervous as hell but I loved it.