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Last week, a couple of blokes who know a lot about beer hosted an event atThe King & Co in Clapham Common, that paired Indian Street Food from Rotli Crew with a bunch of delicious craft beers. Those blokes were none other than our very own Charlie Pountney and Philip Harding – a pair of master beer sommeliers and top-notch funny guys to boot.
Rotli Crew were resident at The King & Co and provided a modern Indian menu full of traditional flavours and surprises alike; the perfect fare to pair with a lovely array of interesting beers.
Like all beer and food matching it is important to think critically about why each match works – and that’s where Charlie and Philip come in – to help educate the patrons about what makes certain beers work with certain foods. These events are always very interactive which is the best way to learn and have fun. Plus, it’s always good to keep our hosts on their toes and to really test their knowledge!
Here’s a summary of what went on and perhaps some inspiration for your own pairings at home.
Stod Fold Gold uses the renowned Challenger hops (a variety bred in 1961 at Wye College, for its aroma and disease resistance) and Maris Otter barley in its malt (renowned for its low nitrogen and superior malting abilities). With this combination of key ingredients at play, the result is a lovely, light beer with a mild sweetness, perfectly matched to the Pani Puri filled with sweet potato, kala chana, tamarind ketchup and green chutney. This dish isn’t overly hot with spice, so needs a gentle beer to match the subtlety of its ingredients.
The second course was bite size nuggets of Masala Cod Cheeks in an IPA Batter which was paired with Nanban Kanpai Yuzu Wheat IPA. Anything deep-fried is always going to be a bit fatty, and therefore will require a sharp beer to cut through this fattiness. The notes of yuzu (a citrus fruit with a distinct tang to it) are ideal in balancing the richness of the batter and masala spice.
For something a little more substantial, the Kashmiri Mutton Curry (think rich and hearty) was paired with Brew By Numbers Brown Ale. The nuttiness and depth of this beer married in with the levels of flavour not only in the curry but of the flesh itself; mutton is a flavoursome flesh and needs to be paired with beers of heft.
The favourite pairing of the evening was next: Chickpea, kale and coconut curry with a Saison Lemongrass from Partizan Brewing. This curry was almost reminiscent of Thai cuisine in its flavour profile with the combination of coconut and kaffir lime. Saison Lemongrass was an outstanding match as its grassiness and bitter lemon notes cut through the creamy coconut and tied in with the fragrant citrus present in the curry. For those who are unfamiliar with saisons, they are simply pale ales with rustic fruity notes.
Dessert saw a decadent slice of Chilli Chocolate Brownie with Cardamom Ice-cream paired with a gorgeous Milk Stout from Bristol Beer Factory. The nuanced spice and heat from the dessert was welcomed by the full-bodied and slightly sweet stout. Stouts are often ideal for pairing with puddings as they balance out the sugar content from the dessert well and don’t cloy your palate.
We’d love to hear from you if you have any favourite beer and food pairings. Tweet us @BBBrandsUK
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