Finding the perfect wine to accompany the perfect dish has been happening for centuries, but now in the 21st century putting together spirits, beers and ales with foods is becoming increasingly popular and I recently had the pleasure in designing a taster menu to pair with some fantastic beers for the BAD Co. Brewery Tour last friday.
BAD Co. started in 2004 as a microbrewery at Blind Jacks in Knaresborough by owner and head brewer Paul Holden-Ridgeway. Paul perfected his knowledge on craft brew in the USA and brought his expertise in back to the UK. In 2014 BAD Co. grew into a fully operational brewery and re-located to its present home at Dishforth Airfield in North Yorkshire.
The tour for 20 visitors started at 7pm and began with a welcome drink and a meet & greet with the brewery’s experienced brewers. The tour followed the brewing process from the Mash at the start to Keg, Bottle & Can at the end. By 8pm the tour finished up in the house bar where the stage was set for the beer and food tasting.
Each course on the menu was paired with a beer chosen specifically to heighten the flavour of the food and enhance the notes of the beer.
I used the Primo Oval JR 200 ceramic grill for this event and was ready to serve the first course as soon as the visitors landed in the bar.
Slow roasted pig belly, pickled pear, spring onion mash & Tennessee gravy was paired with Pale Aura, a dry hopped fruity session ale at 3.8% ABV. The strong fruity and citrus flavours balanced with the pickled pear and depth of the roasted pig belly.
Portobello mushroom, Cambazola cheese & thyme in mini brioche roll paired with Love Over Gold. At 4.1% ABV this fresh blonde ale was a delicate companion to the earthy flavours of the mushroom and thyme.
Wild Gravity was the third ale and I matched this with Crispy mushroom risotto balls, pine nut and cherry tomato salsa. The rich and malty base flavour of the beer was lifted with the nutty flavours of the dish and the sweetness of the salsa, mellowing this 5.2% ABV ale.
For fourth course I presented a local favourite, Yorkshire pudding, BBQ smoked pork rib eye, spiced apple relish and candied apple crisp. This was paired with Boston Tea Party, a hazy New England IPA at 5.8% ABV. The juicy mandarin Bavaria flavours balanced well with the smoky pork.
Fifth course was packed full of flavour; Thai spiced chicken skewers, Mango chutney & Thai crackers matched to Satisfaction. A strong malty brown ale at 6.7% ABV with caramel, raisin and biscuit flavours.
The penultimate course saw the first of the two dessert tastings. Lemon posset, raspberry puree, vanilla berries & almond shortcake joined with Das Model. This 4.8% ABV Bavarian Pilsner style lager carried notes of freshly cut grass and green fruits and together the flavours of spring exploded on the tongue.
The final course was pure indulgence. Plant pot chocolate mousse with edible chocolate soil. This luxurious creamy dessert was paired with Summer Breeze. A refreshing pale ale at 4.5% ABV infused with mint and lime. Perfect partners for a big finish.
The evening finished at 9.30pm and each visitor left with a full tummy and BAD Co. gift pack to take home with them. Held every other month, I’m lookingh forward to the next brewery and food tour on Friday 27th April.