Sunday 25 May 2014


The breakfast of champions
What with beer being almost fashionable these days, we now have a whole different type of "beer writer" than we had even 10 years ago.  Whereas the likes of Roger Protz and Michael Jackson would talk about a beer for its inherent taste and drinking qualities, today you'll get writers discussing "food matching".

A lot of this is down to an only partially hidden inferiority complex about beer. Wine was the drink of the well-to-do, and was consumed by the glass with a meal. Beer, on the other hand, was swigged by the pint by poverty stricken proles. So, when the whole crafty thing blew up, it was decided (probably subconsciously) that to make beer more " classy" , having it with food was the way to go.

I'm sure the foody beery types such as Yvan Seth and Melissa Cole, to name but two, get something out of this.  And I'm equally sure their audience understand it.  I would have thought "food matching" with any drink to be entirely subjective, as no two people's taste buds and sense of smell are exactly the same. But there you go.

As for me, I'd be terrible at it. I had many traumatic incidents involving food as a child, and thus now eat very little of what could be termed good food. I will happily eat pizza four days a week - goes well with Thornbridge Jaipur, I've found. I say four, because that's about the amount of actual meals I have.  The rest of the time, I'm out drinking, and subsist on beer, milk, chocolate and energy drinks. (My uncle once criticised me for this, saying I'd end up like my grandad, who lived on Special Brew and baked beans.  So, I'm going to end up dying in my own home after a short illness at 72).

I suppose the above marks me out as a philistine as far as food goes, and my opinions of how things taste should be entirely ignored. I will state, however, that I've only had one day off sick in 5 years. The reason why? Food poisoning. Lesson learned.


  1. As a fellow potentially-ASD eater of an odd and limited diet, I can entirely sympathise. See this blogpost: A diet of worms. And pizza is one thing I have no problem with - unless it is topped with egg, of course.

  2. The difference between food with wine and food with beer is that wine is meant to be sipped in small quantities, while beer is meant to be drunk in larger quantities. A bottle of wine would last you for quite a big chunk of the evening. If you drank a similar quantity of beer over the same period, it would be going flat by the time you reached the bottom. I don't think beer is especially suitable for matching with food and, although I do sometimes have a pint and a meal in a pub, I make no attempt at matching.

    While good beer is as good, if not better, than your average bottle of supermarket Merlot, beer isn't wine, so let's stop trying pretend it is. Saying cats and dogs are different doesn't mean you're saying one is better than the other.

  3. The point I meant to make about quantities, but forgot to, was that if you drink beer at the same speed as wine, in terms of alcohol intake, you'll drink much more because it's weaker. Filling yourself up with a sizeable quantity of liquid isn't perfect when you're eating.

    1. Those who worry about eating too much might say that filling yourself up with a liquid would help keep you from eating too much. But who would worry about such a thing? On the other hand, I generally like to have something to *drink* when I'm eating, and that means beer. Something to wash it down.

      Wine with fish or steak, just because that's habit.

  4. Beer & food pairing or matching for me: a pint of something that sounds good regardless of whether I was eating something with it or not. And eating something I'd like regardless of whether I was drinking beer with it or not.

    Imperial stout with ice cream's a good match though.