102 | squaremeal.co.uk
eer and barbecued food are best
pals if you look past the ubiquitous
slabs of bulk-buy cheap lager to a
host of delicious pairings that will
make your alfresco dining the
toast of the town.
The rst tip here is matching levels of
avour intensity - there's no point putting
light lager with a 10-hour smoked brisket
smothered in vinegar-based sauce, because
the food will barn dance all over it. Similarly,
it's unbalanced and unpleasant to put a dark,
smoky porter with a delicate piece of white
sh that has only been shown the coals for
a few moments.
If you know your beer beforehand you
can be more assured of a delicious match,
so the basic message is to do your beer prep
before you even strike a light. Drinking beer
is demanding homework of course, but do
try to push through...
Simple avours require simple beer. Lager
comes into its own with prawns, white sh
or grilled chicken with salad, and I'm talking
about the good stu like Curious Brew
from the makers of Chapel Down wines
(£17.99/12x330ml, Majestic) or Marks ¦
Spencer's Five Hop Lager, which is brewed
by Hogsback in Surrey (£1.80/330ml).
Oily sh on the barbecue is an utter
delight and if you're leaving it au naturel or
just marinading it with a few subtle herbs
and lemon, you want British-style golden
ales to match. The vibrant, but not garish,
citrus avours of beers such as Hopback
Summer Lightning (£1.99/500ml, Waitrose)
or Sovereign Golden Ale, brewed for Marks
¦ Spencer by Elgood's in Cambridgeshire
(£2.40/500ml), are ideal for this.
If you're using warm, earthy spices such as
cumin and coriander with red meat, halloumi
or green veg, then tropical fruit-toned beers
are the way to go. Try Brewdog's Dead Pony
in cans (£12.99/6x330ml, Majestic) or Crouch
Vale Amarillo (£1.99/500ml, Tesco).
When you start ramping up the heat
however, dial back those hops in favour of
fuller, more malt-led beers to help soothe
your tortured palate. For straight-up hot food,
especially those dishes with a vinegar edge, I
suggest a milk stout like Bristol Beer Factory's
(£2.75/500ml, honestbrew.co.uk) or the riot
of sweet brioche and dried fruit that is Fuller's
1845 (£2.00/500ml, Sainsbury's).
And let's not forget you can throw dessert
on the barbecue too - an old favourite of
mine, perfected while in the Girl Guides, is a
banana stued with dark chocolate and mini
marshmallows, and topped with crushed
Hobnobs, before being wrapped in foil and
popped directly on the coals for ve minutes.
It's glorious with the chocolate, pine and
geranium of Beavertown's Holy Cowbell
YES YOU CAN CAN...
Cans these days are a very dierent proposition to the metallic-tainted horrors of years gone by. All the cool brewing
kids are doing it, with Beavertown, Brewdog, Fourpure, Camden Town and even traditional brewers like Adnams
getting in on the act. The bonus with cans is that they are lighter, more portable, chill quicker and crush down
to nothing, making them the perfect choice for big parties or barbecues on the move.
WHEN YOU START RAMPING
UP THE HEAT HOWEVER,
DIAL BACK THOSE HOPS