- Beer is food in itself AND
- Beer goes well with food AND
- Beer can be an ingredient in food SO
- Food can be an ingredient in beer
I’ll tell you what’s wrong – Choice Bros Lamb and Mint Ale, “an English-style ale-base beer with roasted carrots, potatoes and peas added to the mash. Then roast lamb and candi sugar infused with mint added to the boil.”
I know! And off a hand pump too! What were they doing?
Lamb and Mint Ale (4%) was on tap at the Winter Ale Festival last weekend. It tasted like my first efforts at home brew, when I didn’t know what I was doing, didn’t know how to sanitise and didn’t keep my grubby fingers out of the extract. It was not a polarising beer and if it ran out that’s because it was made in a very small batch. Would avoid.
Choice Bros knows how to make good beer – its Petrichor was a highlight of Hopstock this year. L&M Ale showed that while beer can be a good ingredient in a meal, a meal isn’t necessarily a good ingredient in beer.
So I wasn’t sure what to expect when I tried Bach Brewing Crayporter Coastal Porter (5.6%) last night. Adding oysters, cockles and other bivalves to beer is traditional and proven. Three Boys Oyster Stout is one of my all time favourites. But Crayporter adds a crustacean – a crayfish.
Crayporter is definitely a porter rather than a rich stout. It has a lingering finish with mineral, umami flavours complementing the dark grain bitterness. I don’t know how many crayfish were sacrificed – the labels notes say “brewed with eight malts and whole crayfish”. Perhaps the calcium in the shells added hardness to the water, or maybe not. But it works. Would have again.
And speaking of Three Boys – look out for its Hoppy Porter. While the English-style porter has been in Three Boys’ range for a while, this version includes New Zealand hops on top of the Fuggles. It works and shows a balanced and mature approach to the New World porter style. Would seek out.