It’s World Vegan Month!
Following from last week's 7 facts about veganism , this week we're talking about some of our favourite beer and food pairings!
Beer is predominantly vegan; the four ingredients required to make it are water, hops, malted barley and yeast. However, sometimes brewers add different adjuncts to their beers, such as lactose, which although can lead to a tasty beer, means they are not vegan friendly.
We are happy to say that all of our beers so far are vegan friendly. You can grab some HERE.
Our content creator and resident vegan Iain has chosen some of his favourite vegan dishes from his @weeplates Instagram page, and our resident Certified Cicerone Abby has paired them with different beer styles that she thinks would best accompany them. Check them out below!
Vegan Fish Tacos – Saison, German wheat or Lager
These fish tacos using Linda McCartney vegan fish goujons are one of Iain’s favourite dishes! There are so many great beers that can pair well with fish dishes, vegan or otherwise!
There are many great beer styles that go with fish: the carbonation of a saison will clean through any oiliness and the citrus and peppery flavours will really compliment the fish and seasonings such as coriander.
Citrusy and efferverscent wheat beers will again cut through any richness with a palate cleansing affect, while the creamy mouthfeel will complement toppings such as guacamole.
A personal favourite is of course lager, with our very own Clean Water Lager acting as a perfect accompaniment to fish tacos. The lemon citrus flavours from Soraachi Ace hops act as a zesty addition in the way you would squeeze a lemon over fish, while the clean, crisp taste with be a refreshing palate cleanser.
Christmas Roast Stuffed Squash – British Brown Ale
Seeing as we are nearing Christmas we thought we’d add in this stuffed squash recipe from Gaz Oakley aka Avant Garde Vegan.
This squash is stuffed with ingredients including caramelized onions, chestnuts, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and cranberry sauce.
British Brown Ales would be our top recommendation for this dish, or alternatively an amber style lager. The nuttiness from the malt in the brown ale will perfectly complement the nutty squash flavours and earth mushroom and rice, while the fruity yeast flavours will pair well with the fruitier flavours in the dish (hello apricots!).
We’re feeling Christmassy already!
Broth, udon and vegetables – IPL, Session IPA or Gose
This ramen style vegan noodle dish is full of hearty green vegetables, so a fresh, hoppy India Pale Lager or Session IPA will really compliment those bright, fresh flavours, while not overpowering with overly strong flavours. Firestone Walker's Pivo Pils is one that can be easily picked up, or for Session IPA there's always our very own Chilloozy! Alternatively, a light, lemony gose will add a citrus element to really zest up the greens!
Dessert treats – Stout, Belgian Dubbel, Kriek
Obviously a dessert beer pairing will depend on the dessert, however in this scenario we are talking about the delicious looking photo below, made up of a Cinnamon Bun, Chocolate and Pistachio Bun and a Miso and Peanut Butter Cookie! Can you believe these are all vegan?! *drool*
Classically, anything remotely chocolatey will pair well with a stout. The dark malts used in stouts often give a coffee or chocolate flavour and richness that will perfectly complement chocolate in a dessert. Do make sure that your stout of choosing is free of lactose of course! Might we suggest our latest beer Impact, a 6.5% Coffee and Vanilla Stout that we think would pair perfectly with a chocolate cookie or cinnamon bun.
If you want to be a little more adventurous, the dried fruit raisin and prune flavours of a Belgian Dubbel will complement a Cinnamon Bun really well, while a kriek (a Belgian, tart cherry beer) is also a great pairing with chocolate - cutting through the richness and complementing in the same way the flavours in a Black Forest Gateau work so perfectly. Boon Kriek is a personal favourite!
So there you have it!
It's worth noting that although there are some key guides for beer and food pairing (cut, contrast and complement), it's generally a subjective topic! We'd encourage you to try different beers with different dishes and work out what works well and what doesn't work in each one. Try to pair beers and food of matching intensities though, as you don't want one to overpower the other!
Most importantly, have fun with it!
You can check out Iain’s vegan food/beer blog on Instagram here.