Yorkshire’s award-winning Ilkley Brewery have teamed up with Stephanie Moon – chef consultant at Rudding Park in Harrogate and contestant on BBC Two’s Great British Menu – to create a Pint Chart, matching six of the brewery’s real ales with a variety of dishes.
The chart includes a spread of restaurant and home-style dishes, for example pairing Ilkley’s Mary Jane with either barbecued lobster and herb salsa verde or the more rustic option of sausage rolls. Moon explained the motivation for her involvement in the project as a wish to challenge the notion of beer only befitting pairing with bar snacks: ‘Drinking beer with food is nothing new – pork scratchings and meat pies have gone down well with a pint of bitter for a long time now. However, what we’re trying to do is widen the perception of what works with beer to include high-end, healthy and accessible dishes.’
The aim of the project fits with the current vogue for promoting beer as a valid contender for wine’s status as the most-popular choice for food-pairing. Stewart Ross, one of the brewery directors commented,’Just as wine enthusiasts know their Cabernets from their Pinots, we’re finding people are becoming more and more clued up on hop varieties. With this understanding of the broad range of flavours beer can produce – from delicate citrus light ales to robust, creamy stouts – it stands to reason that beer should be paired with complementary food flavours and enjoyed, just like wine.’
Image: Joan Russell Photography