For a while now I have been noticing a trend in Foodie circles of matching craft beers with food. Granted, mostly it’s been in Britain with Michel Roux Jnr’s fantastic “Food & Drink” programme, to give just one example, always showcasing craft beers that work well with food. Within these programmes the craft beers used were not in any way familiar to me and for a while I just passed it off as people in another Country doing their thing but it would never catch on here in Ireland. We are “Beer before the meal but wine during” people and that’s it, or are we? As someone that hugely respects the likes of Michel Roux Jnr., Jason Atherton, Rick Stein and many more fantastic Chefs that have endorsed the “Craft Beer with Food” thing, I simply had to look at this area closely to see if it was worth presenting the idea to our customers at The Poachers.
With my “don’t knock it til you try it” hat on me I have discovered is that Ireland is on the cusp of an eye-opening shift in the area of what diners are open to drinking with their food. That’s a big statement for an individual Chef / Restaurant owner to make isn’t it? It is but at Poachers we have been researching this area for nearly 6 months now and we have been really impressed with the quality of craft Beers we have tasted and their synergy & compatibility with various foods. Some for example work really well with big hearty beef dishes in the same way a Rioja would. Others work well with spicy food. I even tasted a Quadruple Ale yesterday with Chocolate and it worked, spectacularly well.
The great thing is that many of these craft beers are Irish and local to us. The famous landmark Franciscan Well in Cork is an example of a craft brewery that prides itself on producing craft beers to match with a wide range of foods – they even produce seasonal craft beers that match up with foods that are “in season” at that particular time of year. It is amazing but it doesn’t surprise because like any top artisan producer, it’s personal and every strain of their being goes into making their product remarkable for their customers.
We have tested many varying types of seafood dishes, meats & desserts with craft beers and we are at the stage where we would be really proud to share our experiences with our customers. To that end we are holding a Craft Beer Dinner here at Poachers on Friday 26th April. Our menu is now finalised and we will be sharing it with you early next week. This will be a special night in that we will be offering fantastic value (5 course tasting menu paired with craft beers for €30), Brewers & experts will be there to explain briefly the various Craft Beers that you will be tasting….not in a serious way though, the fun and enjoyment is what it’s all about. Come on and try it, your eyes will be opened!!