Yesterday, the Brewers Association's executive chef Adam Dulye (pictured) shared some beer and food matching insight at the BA's annual lunch, where he paired American craft beers with Tomos Parry's food at Kitty Fisher's.
'Pubs are doing great here,' said Dulye. 'Now we want to get craft beer right for a place at the table. When you go out, you should be able to have craft beer, cocktails or wine. It's about creating an experience – a community.'
Dulye said beer and food pairing is all about protecting people's palate, and using fats – or other big ingredients such as charred foods, as is Kitty Fisher's speciality – helps to avoid 'palate fatigue'.
'There's an assumption of gluttony [with beer dinners],' said Dulye. 'However it's not more intense than having wine with a plate of charcuterie, or bourbon with cigars.'
When it comes to organising beer and food pairing events, he pointed out that it's mostly about working with the kitchen to create matches as the beer's already in the bottle.
Another of his tips to get more people into craft beer was to avoid specific beer vocabulary – no talking of IPAs or porters. Rather, asking customers whether they'd want something light and bitter, or dark and caramelly for instance, helps to avoid prejudices and direct customers who might not have thought about having it with food.
Some of the day's stand-out matches for us were Kitty Fisher's 14yo Galician rib-eye steak paired with No-Li's Crony Brown Ale, which worked well along with the accompanying girolles' umami character, with a slice of pickled walnut bringing out citrus notes in the ale. Lagunitas Brewing Co's Day Time Ale with cornish crab, barbecued cucumber, dill and seaweed was another winner – the saltiness of the seaweed and sauce helped stand up to the beer's big hops, and the delicate crab taste was preserved.