Craft beer is giving us more tastes, styles and flavours than ever and is continuing to soar in popularity. So what is craft beer? Essentially it is beer that is made in a more traditional and non-mechanised way and is usually produced in much smaller quantities than beers by the larger corporations. By the definition, the major brands cannot make craft beer and so it is made by small independent breweries.
A couple of decades ago smaller pubs and breweries were closing down and we were only left with the big chain pubs. Fast forward to the present day where our tastes have changed and consumers are turning their back on the big brands and are willing to seek out and spend more money on independent products; this is where craft beer has found its market.
With new flavours, it is no longer a drink for old men. We can now think of beer like wine; it’s a drink to taste and enjoy and every pint has its individuality.
As a caterer we always like to look at food pairings with drinks and craft beer is no exception. We have paired up some of the different types of beer with dishes that they work well with:
Clean and crisp beers go nicely with a creamy risotto. The complementary grain flavours balance the hops, keeping it light.
Fruity and spicy beer is a perfect match for shellfish particularly mussels with garlic. The beer brings out the natural sweetness and also cleanses the palate.
Hoppy and bitter beer is great with pork chops; the fat in the pork matches up to the strong characteristics of the beer.
A dark and roasty beer works well with desserts such as milk chocolate mousse or bread and butter pudding.