I was lucky enough to be sent a selection of beers from UK beer and wine importer Morgenrot. Morgenrot distribute beers from all over the world and I received bottles of craft beer from Namibia, Germany and Spain.
I’m a huge fan of tasting menus and frequently visit restaurants to try seasonal courses. where I have experienced wine, gin and tequila pairings. When I received these beers from Morgenrot, I was excited to not only try the beers, but to also put my own tasting menu together. 6 beers, 5 courses and 4 friends later, this is how it turned out…
First up we sampled the Spanish Beercat Brewery’s Siete Vidas, which is a Kolsch-style beer, made from lager malts. Because it’s a light beer it pairs excellently with chacuterie, which includes salty meats and bold flavoured cheeses. I plated up some serrano ham, parma ham and mortadella, alongside some manchego cheese and brie. To accompany the meats and cheese I added some stuffed peppers because I’m really not a fan of olives.
As soon as we tried the beer, Kirsten immediately guessed it was Spanish and we all agreed that the beer and meats were a great combo; we felt this would be perfect for soaking up some sunshine in sunny Barcelona! Make sure that the meats and cheeses you pick aren’t too strong, as you don’t want to overpower the beer.
Beercat Brewery also has a restaurant where they serve charcuterie in amongst other dishes, so it seems like a no brainer combo for me. However, if you’ve not been persuaded, 7% of proceeds from this beer go to their local animal shelter. This also ended up being our favourite beer from the tasting!
Next up was the Krombacher beer from Germany, of which I received 2 variations: Krombacher Pils and Krombacher Pils Non-Alcoholic. With a very sleek and sophisticated look, both of these bottles had the most traditional labels, from the selection delivered to me.
Pilsner’s have a delicate flavour, so I wanted to pair these beers with a light dish, which is why I chose a salmon and asparagus salad for course number 2. I added a tangy tomato salsa to the salmon, which complimented the crispness of the beers.
I used both Krombacher’s on this course; we started with the non-alcoholic and switched to the alcoholic half way through the dish to compare. The non-alcoholic pils is the most popular non-alcoholic pils in Germany and I found it enjoyable with the salmon. However, I preferred the alcoholic pils because I felt it had stronger flavours and more fizz.
Our third beer brand was the first of 2 beers from Cerveses La Pirata, another Spanish based company. The beer was an amber ale and because ales go well with a wide range of food, I chose to pair this with a classic burger. Being a 5-course meal, I opted for sliders instead of full sized burgers. This worked really well as we were able to nibble on the food, whilst we discussed the Cerveses La Pirata Amber Ale.
We all thought that this ale was a great accompaniment to the burgers because it’s full bodied, just like a heavy burger. Personally, I prefer lighter beers, but I did like this ale with a hearty meal because no flavours were lost.
The last savoury meal was fish tacos, which were matched with a Namibian beer called Windhoek. Although it’s a Namibian beer, Windhoek was started by 2 German immigrants in the early 1900’s. Because it’s a lager I decided to pair this with a light, fish dish. I wanted to acknowledge the African heritage, but African food is not my speciality! Instead, I chose to use the spice from African meals, but I used the spice to produce fish tacos.
The Windhoek was significantly lighter than the previous ale, but it was still a full-bodied lager. It was pleasant to drink and wasn’t too bold for the fish. The tacos consisted of a tortilla filled with lettuce, avocado, breaded lemon sole, tangy tomato salsa and topped with chilli mayonnaise. The beer was understated enough that it complimented the meal, but still had enough oomph not to get lost in amongst the different flavours.
Finally, it was time for dessert and I chose the second Cerveses La Pirata to accompany lemon frozen yoghurt. Both of the Cerveses La Pirata beers had the most appealing labels, but both had very different tastes. This second beer was an American IPA and many IPA’s can have quite intense flavours, so I wanted to pair a strong-tasting dessert to match.
The lemon frozen yoghurt was a simple dessert to make and a gentle way to end a big meal. This was a classic IPA, so it boasted citrus notes, which worked well with the lemon. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer because it wasn’t too heavy, but still full of flavour.
Cerveses La Pirata opened its first brewery in 2015 and already they’ve won the National Award for the Best Brewery in Fira del Poblenou (Barcelona) twice and received 2 bronze medals at the Global Craft Beer Awards.