A great golden ale can stimulate more than just conversation. It can boost the flavours in your meal, complement the mood and occasion, and much more, as these readers reveal…
“I match beer to food – for a living!” Kirrily Waldhorn, beer consultant and founder of BeerDiva.com.au
Kirrily Waldhorn, aka ‘Australia’s First Lady of Beer’, turned her beer passion into a full time career! As a beer consultant, Kirrily educates foodies, restaurant owners and staff, sophisticates and Aussie women about the complexities of beer and how to match your brew to your meal.
“The key to any successful best beer and food pairing is an open mind,” says Kirrily. “Don’t over think the process. It should be fun. Beer can reveal some extraordinary flavour sensations with the most basic knowledge of beer styles. First and foremost, consider the weight of the beer and the food to pair. Like wine, neither should overpower the other. As an example, a lighter, refreshing beer such as White Rabbit White Ale would complement the clean flavours of Thai-spiced prawns perfectly. Similarly, if I’m eating a hearty winter meal, such as slow-cooked lamb shanks, I’d pair it with the rich English-style James Squire Amber Ale, which I’d also braise the shanks in!”
Kirrily says the guiding principles of beer and food pairing are to “complement, contrast or cleanse.”
“With over 100 different styles of beer, there’s a great diversity of flavours available, which can provide incredibly complementary notes to a wide variety of cuisines,” explains Kirrily. “But beer can also be a great contrast to food, highlighting the flavours of both the beer and the meal. For example, the fruity Kirin Megumi paired with a herb-crusted roast chicken is a lovely contrast.
“Likewise, a Little Creatures Pale Ale paired to a bitey matured cheddar is a fantastic palate cleanser, thanks to its lively carbonation. Experiment and you will be sure to be rewarded!”
“I drink beer for specific occasions!” Grace West, artist at GraceWestDesigns.com and mum to three boys
Grace West is a full-time jewellery designer and busy mum to three boys under 13 from Bendigo, Victoria. Grace says, like her unique jewellery designs, she is not your typical beer drinker! “I drink beer for specific occasions and, I guess, particular moods!” she says. “For example, I don’t ever drink beer during the week – I’m too busy in my studio and being a mum! But on Saturday nights my boys and I make homemade pizzas and fire them up in our outdoor pizza oven – and I always have a low alcohol beer with a slice of lime with it. And then during summer, I love nothing more than having a refreshing beer with a dash of lemonade over long, lazy afternoon catch-ups with friends – while the kids play!”
“I’m a burger and beer purist!” Jimmy Hurlston, author and restaurant owner
Burger king Jimmy Hurlston is the co-author of The Burger Book, owner of popular restaurants Guilty in Sydney and Melbourne’s Easey’s and Truck Stop Deluxe. He’s also the man behind @JimmysBurgers, with a cool 65K people following his every burger adventure. Yep, this man knows his burgers. And he likes his beers.
“I’m a burger and beer purist!” says Jimmy. “I drink lager with my beef burgers – always. My favourite burger is our Rowdy Double – a double patty, double cheese, ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles, jalapenos and bacon burger.
“Lager is the perfect beer to pair with it. It’s super refreshing and it cuts through the greasiness of the bacon, cheese and meat patty. And it’ll cool down the jalapenos if you’re not into spicy flavours.
“To me, lager is what beer should taste like. It has that classic beer flavour that’s easy to drink and not overpowering or overly complicated. I’m not one of those people who sit at dinner and have one super expensive overpowering beer! If I’m having a beer, I like them to be easy drinking.
“I enjoy beer daily as a part of a balanced, lifestyle.” Dr Sam Hay, Director of YourDoctors.com.au
“I really enjoy a beer! It’s refreshing and tastes great!
“Sure, not everyone should drink, but for most of us, having a beer can easily be part of a balanced, happy lifestyle.
For me, it’s all about balance – if you eat healthily, exercise heaps and watch your weight, then there’s no reason why you can’t have the ultimate reward of a beer! And, if you’re really watching the calories, there’s a variety of beers to choose from – including low and mid-strength beers.“. The Australian alcohol guidelines allow for a couple of standard drinks each day, for the majority of people. It’s all about being sensible!.
“always aim to balance a couple of standard beers with healthy food choices and exercise, then that’s fine in moderation. Having a beer is part of the Aussie culture when we catch up with friends, and it should be enjoyed! Just remember to drink in moderation, balancing a couple of standard beers with healthy food choices and exercise.
“For me, enjoying the ever increasing range of high quality beers in Australia with mates always forms the basis for catch ups. The chance to taste, critique, and compare certainly makes for a great afternoon of conversation.
“When it’s hot or I’m buggered after a long day, I prefer a cold crisp lager like Kirin or Koziuscko Pale Ale. If it’s a quiet afternoon unwind, or I’m roasting up a storm, then I prefer to taste and match a few stronger hoppy ales, such as a Hop Thief.
“I match my beer to the company and occasion.” Josh Umansky, sales and marketing manager
Josh says he doesn’t play favourites when it comes to beer. “I like lots of different beers – there’s too many great flavours to limit yourself!” he says. “When I have Friday after work drinks with colleagues, we normally go to a trendy city bar so I take advantage of the boutique craft beers. And I’m always partial to a James Squire! But when my father-in-law is in town, he’s quite salt of the earth, so I always drink a traditional no-fuss lager with him. He likes the classics like, Tooheys New. If I’m going out for dinner, I’ll always match the beer to the cuisine or where I am to get into the spirit of things. You have to have a Kirin with Japanese food and a XXXX on the Gold Coast!”
“I’m a beer and barbecue connoisseur.” Adam Roberts, President and Co-Founder of the Australasian Barbecue Alliance
Beef brisket, pork ribs, barbecued chicken … name any barbecue dish and Australia’s BBQ King, Adam Roberts, will suggest a perfect match beer to accompany it. As the Co-Founder of the Australasian Barbecue Alliance (ABA), the largest barbecue competition sanctioning body outside of the United States, the self-taught foodie and barbecue fanatic regularly competes on the barbecue competition circuit and shares his tips, tricks and recipes with the ABA’s 30,000 Facebook fans.
“I love a good beer with my charcoal fired barbecue,” admits Adam. “If I’m doing lamb, I’ll drink a mild to medium body flavour beer, like Little Creatures Pale Ale, which compliments the savoury rub that I’ve used on the lamb.
“With beef ribs or brisket, they’re already pretty heavy in flavour so I’ll go for a crisp, clear lighter lager or highly filtered beer, such as a Summer Bright Lager, to get the balance of flavours just right.
“I love a dark ale or stout such as a White Rabbit Dark Ale with my barbecued chicken as the chicken is one of the lightest in flavour profile, while the full bodied taste of the dark beer brings the two together really well.
“Pork ribs are one of my favourite cuts as they’re usually sweet and juicy. I love a good mid flavoured and crisp ale as a pairing, which doesn’t make me too full – more belt-room to devour and store plenty of tender and succulent sticky ribs! Little Creatures Bright Ale is a good pick.”
We are passionate about beer and want to share this passion by telling you more about this fine beverage. Because the truth is a wonderful thing. #beerisbeautiful