It’s a well-known fact that Brits love to eat, drink and socialise, with households spending more than £45 a week on restaurants and hotels for the first time in five years in 2016.
But, are we eating the right dishes and complementing them with the best bevvy?
Gourmet Society, one of the UK’s largest dining clubs reveals the best beers to be drinking this summer, and cuisine we should be pairing them with, just in time for Father’s Day tomorrow (Sunday, June 18).
Brewed with more lightly roasted ‘pale’ malts, pale ales typically have a more equal malt-to-hop balance. This beer is great when paired with pub classics such as burgers or fish and chips. If you fancy something to nibble whilst enjoying your drink, pork pies are another tasty pairing. Fish Works, in London (www.fishworks.co.uk), is the ideal destination for a relaxed combo.
Golden to copper in colour and light bodied, the hop bitterness is moderate to assertive. Team this drink with slightly heavier dishes such as steak and ale pie or roasted chicken. Marco Pierre White in Bristol (www.mpwrestaurants.co.uk/our-brands/steakhouse-bar-and-grill/bristol/) is a steakhouse bar and grill, with a menu full of locally produced, ethically reared and grown ingredients.
UK beer sommelier, Marverine Cole, said: “Try a steak and caramelised onion baguette, served with a healthy portion of skin-on, thick cut fries or devour a 28 day aged Aberdeen angus steak instead; robust and strong in equal measure.”
A traditional favourite with British drinkers, try lagers such as Heineken, Budweiser, or Peroni with flavoursome meals including pizza, fish or tandoori dishes. There are so many great places serving pizza, including the popular Bella Italia, which has restaurants throughout the UK; the restaurant serves thinner and crispier Roma pizzas, just like the ones they make in Rome.
Proper Job IPA
A beer created by the Austell Brewery in Cornwall; available in supermarkets and pubs nationwide. Described as the ‘strong, silent type’, this is great coupled with chilli sausages or anything fiery and distinctive. Try a ChimiChanga TexMex (www.chimichanga.co.uk) restaurant, which are located throughout the UK for all your Mexican needs.
Stout and Porter
Guinness lovers should pair their drink with stews, grilled meat, or for those with a sweet tooth, try it with rich chocolate. One company which can be found on Gourmet Society; Hotel du Vin & Bistro (www.hotelduvin.com) has restaurants across the UK including Birmingham, Cambridge, Glasgow and York. Try the delicious chocolate and hazelnut cannoli option on the al fresco menu, which would be a perfect pairing.
Marc Bishop, beer sommelier at St Austell Brewery, said: “The right food with the right beer style makes a fantastic difference to the taste of both.
“The real principle to take into account when pairing beers and food is the different beer styles and matching these to the food. For example, a hot curry works wonderfully with a crisp, cold lager, the key is to think about the contrast.
“Due to the variety of hops, malts and balances that can be achieved, there are far more matching possibilities with beer than there is with wine. “
Whether you’re cooking at home, or dining in your favourite restaurant, choosing food and drink which complement one another is the ideal way to ensure an enjoyable, tasty experience.
Matt Turner, CEO of Gourmet Society, said: “Summer is just around the corner and now is the time to enjoy dining out with loved ones.
“Pairing beer with the correct food is a fantastic opportunity to really make the most of your dining experience. Sometimes we tend to stick to our favourite food and drink, and therefore don’t discover anything new.
“Our guide details the best beers to try with certain foods, and some great Gourmet Society restaurant suggestions.”