Beer with Food
The pubs industry is becoming ever more 'serious' about food.
For instance Greene King has just held its second annual Chef Academy:
this brings together chefs to share ideas and learn from the best in the catering world.
Themes which the industry are following include:
Greene King has also been promoting Beer to dine for - beer with meals.
Many others are also trying to promote beer as an alternative to wine.
The Guardian ran a piece
called Party paupers - a dinner party for under £30
which featured a £20 3-course recipe by Silvena Rowe
and then their wine correspondent Malcolm Gluck
made his suggestions.
- relaxed, informal dining
- accessible menus (no baffling descriptions)
- family dining
- authentic, regional food
- seasonal food
- locally-produced food
"My contribution to this column is to find sufficient wine for four people, £10 or under, all in.
A beautifully confused reader, Mr Cornell of Twickenham, emailed me and
confessed his amusement at my contortions over this mission and said I
should try beer.
This triggered a flurry of appalled replies, including from CAMRA
and even from Guardian colleagues.
"This is a disgusting idea. Beer does little for most food, especially
spicy, complex dishes (which Silvena's often are), and even less for
the digestion (wine is a protein and thus is more companionable and
healthier with food)."
Roger Protz wrote:
"Mr Gluck has repeated a claim he made in Weekend earlier this year,
namely that wine is a protein and so a better companion for food than
beer, which he describes as 'starch'. Malted barley, the main
ingredient in beer, is - in common with all fruits, vegetables and
grains - rich in protein. Some of the protein is removed in the
brewing process. Unfiltered beers, such as Belgian and German wheat
beers, are especially high in protein and Germans consider them to
be an essential element of a healthy diet."
He went on to point out some of the beer-with-food initiatives,
including the recent CAMRA awards ceremony's meal...
"cooked by the celebrated chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, with each
dish matched by a beer. The Guardian luminaries who attended the
event suffered, as far as I know, no ill-effects as a result of
Others wrote in concerned about traditional pubs being
tarted up as 'gastropubs' to serve expensive food to 'London' types
with locals relegated to other pubs (if there are any left nearby).
ALE Spring 2004 No. 313
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Cambridge & District CAMRA