GUEST POST from Simon Wright: Pairing Spice with beer!
Pairing spice with beer for our Berbere spice is the fourth in a series of guest posts by Simon Wright, manager of a wine shop in Cambridge who we met at a food festival. He wanted to come up with pairings for our spice to give people a better understanding of how different spices work well with wines and craft beers. We’ve been looking forward to pairing a tipple with our bold, fiery Berbere especially as IPA’s & craft beers are among our favourites here at Spice HQ. You can find out more about all-things-wine on his blog and we hope you enjoy experimenting with his suggestions as much as we did!
“This potent and heady mix of spices is going to fight for centre stage in any dish, so choosing a wine to match it is going to be hard. To be honest, even the richest, most full-bodied wines I can think of would fail miserably trying to compete with the Berbere. I am therefore going off–piste with this one and pairing it with a beer style; Black IPA.
Hoppy, intense IPA’s (India Pale Ale) have seen a huge resurgence over the last few years, spurned in no small part by the rise of the American craft beer scene. A top notch IPA would probably work fine with the Berbere too, but I think the increased weight and power of the Black IPA would pair even better. The use of roasted malt give these particular IPA’s their distinct character and this added kick of flavour complements and stands up to the powerful Berbere flavours. Also the increased body and thickness you get on the palate with these beers work very well.
I love the fact that there is something quite decadent enjoying these two gastronomic lovelies side by side. You’ll find a fair few examples of Black IPA from the US as that’s where the style was born, but UK brewers are now trying their hand at it too. I recommend trying a selection of both, and seeing who wins the trans-Atlantic battle – all in the name of science of course!
As usual, I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on this match and welcome any questions on finding a good IPA, or any ponderings on beers in general.
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See you next time!