I was recently invited to attend the SAB Food & Beer pairing event at the SAB World of Beer with Pete Goffe-Wood. Now you need to know 2 things, I have always been crazy about Pete Goffe-Wood AND I like beer more than wine. But not a lot more. You see, I don’t really drink. I find it hard to sit back and enjoy a few drinks when I know the next day I’ll have twin toddlers and a hangover to take care of. But I jumped at this opportunity because of Pete.
Before I get to the actual food & beer pairing, I have to tell you about the GORGEOUS SAB World of Beer where the lunch was held. You are taken through literally, a World of Beer and it’s incredibly informative and so beautifull done. I never thought I’d learn so much about beer in a couple of minutes. The exhibitions are beautiful and really worth a visit. If your husband loves beer, take him for a tour threw the World of Beer and he’ll love you forever.
We then got to taste all the different beers and Wow! I never thought of beer as so complex. And I actually enjoyed the beer tasting more than wine tasting. Marlon Roelofse from “Getroud Met Rugby” made all the girls laugh when he said a girl with a Black Label bottle is seriously sexy…and even sexier with a quart bottle. Not so sure about that last one though.
And then, the part I’d been waiting for ALL day (actually all week), we got to taste the beers with food. We started off with the most incredible Chicken Liver parfait I’ve ever tasted. It was smooth and silky and just perfect. This was paired with Carling Black Label and this match was just perfect. The almost sweetness of the beer worked so well with the silkyness of the parfait.
Next up (and my favourite) was the Poached German sausage with Pork Terrine and marinated Cabbage paired with Grolsch. Now let me just tell you that I don’t like cabbage, but I would give up my husband for a bowl of this marinated cabbage and a slice of that terrine. It was divine!
We then went onto Butternut & Goat’s cheese Rotolo with pine nuts and crispy sage (just sounds mouth watering doesn’t it?) and this was paired with Peroni. Now out of all the beers, Peroni was probably my favourite. And I loved how it cut through the richness of the butter sauce so well.
Next was the Cured bacon which was poached in Pilsner Urquell with lentils and mustard cream sauce. Now, I don’t know about you. But I don’t know of many chefs that are brilliant enough to think about poaching bacon in beer. Honestly…it was mind-blowingly magnificent. And with the mustard cream sauce? Brilliant! Of course, the dish was paired with Pilsner Urquell but I have to confess, I didn’t pay much attention to this pairing as I was too busy licking my plate!
And then dessert. Now I was VERY sceptical about dessert because, first of all, I really don’t like Milk Stout and secondly, beer and pudding? Really? I can safely say…YES! REALLY! We first tasted the Castle Milk stout which I found quite bitter with a very clear coffee aftertaste. And then with the Treacle pudding with it’s it’s Creme Anglaise made with the milk stout…I was in heaven. The milk stout became creamy, mellowed out and rich. It was incredible.
This really was an afternoon that opened up my eyes towards beer and I urge all of you to try pairing beer with food (and not just pizza or braaivleis!!) Why not try ordering a Grolsch next time you order prawns or eat your cheese with a ice cold glass of Millers Genuine Draft? Don’t get stuck with always serving wine with your food, it will enlighten your dining experience as well as open your eyes to other possibilities.
A big thanx to the SAB team for a wonderful afternoon and the fab goodie bags we got sent home with. All the men in my family have been fighting over the beautiful leather Peroni cooler bags we recieved!