SUMMER BEERS AND BITES
Refreshing, tasty and hoppy!
If, like me, you don’t want to spend too much time working in the kitchen on a warm summer evening, now’s your chance to try something simple. So, you’ve purchased one of our beer taps and have been enjoying fresh draught beer in your back garden or patio. If you haven't, what are you waiting for? It's time to whack out some kegs and nibbles to match!
The perfect staycation treat!
Dips and salads, warm baguettes, peanuts, olives, sundried tomatoes, crisps, cheeses and cold meats are excellent ideas for summer evenings. You can even throw some grapes, figs or crudités into the mix. This will all be even better if accompanied by tasty and delicious beers, whether that's draught or bottle and cans!
When we think of recipes for the summer, among other things, we immediately think of a good mix of dips, crisps and cheeses. First you need to make sure you choose a good mix of different flavours and textures in order to be able to satisfy people's preferences. Each of us has a different taste and, as a good host, it is something you must always consider.
In addition to the variety, you must also consider the right match between the various products. A perfect board can include, for example, cheeses, vegetables and cold cuts. As for the latter, choose the ones you prefer. Or just stick to a big, varied cheese board with crackers, chutney and bread. You can also add mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, they are fresh products and combine with the vast majority of things.
Always remember that the goal of these dishes is to avoid spending too much time in the kitchen, don't over complicate anything. At most you can prepare some dips such as hummus, tzatziki, mackerel or an olive paté, but otherwise there is no shame in buying them from the supermarket.
A mix of cheeses will always go down well and for this reason it is necessary to write a separate paragraph, there are so many different tastes. Practically a world apart. There's a whole article on beer and goat's cheese alone. Blue cheese goes very well with IPA, so we have two simple and tasty blue cheese and IPA recipes that will go down a treat. Blue cheese is extremely delicious but be aware that it has a very particular taste, we recommend adding some more classic cheeses, such as sweet provolone, cheddar and brie in order to satisfy all tastes.
Blue cheese always features on my ideal snack board. Cook up some homemade caramalized onions using beer, take a sip of an IPA, and you have my perfect mix and match combination. Or, drink that same beer with the king prawns and a fruity mango salsa. Discover for yourself which flavours complement or reinforce each other, and which ones are an outright attack on your taste buds.
When you have a board full of interesting flavours, it’s the perfect opportunity to discover new beer pairing combinations: that’s how I found out that a black bean dip is a tasty in itself, but it has no influence whatsoever on the flavour of any of my chosen beers. Click on the recipes below and try creating an amazing board filled with any combination of cheese, ham, figs, rocket, kalamata olives, tomatoes, a mix of nuts, dips; feta dip with lemon, pea dip with goat cheese, and black bean dip. Don't forget things like caramelized onions, crisps, ciabatta bread, king prawn skewers and a summer mango salsa.
Try the recipes!
Let's move on to the juicier part: beers! There’s nothing quite like a refreshing beer in summer. Pilsner generally goes well with any snack, but in particular when you have salty crisps, nuts and charcuterie.
A great beer for summer sipping is a German wheat beer, like Paulaner Hefeweizen Naturtrüb or Weihenstephan Hefe Weizen Alcoholarm. From the recipes above, the feta dip with fresh lemon and the lime from the pea dip will match the fresh character of this beer style.
A white beer will go nicely with the king prawn skewers for a soft combination. Fresh white beer will also go down deliciously with a fig wrapped with a slice of ham and makes the pea dip and the feta dip a little sweeter.
IPA's should of course not be missed as part of your summer drinks. Start with a session IPA, this is perfect with the king prawns and even better with the blue cheese. Something like Brewdog Clockwork Tangerine 4.5% is a great option, but don’t drink it with the mango salsa as the flavour of the dish is totally lost in this bold beer. Try it with the blue cheese instead. My top mix and match on the snack board is still the double IPA Gulpener Spicy Roger 8% combined with a piece of ciabatta loaded with soft blue cheese and a healthy serving of caramelized beer onions. Those flavours are the best you’ll taste all day. We also have some super low-key fail-safe rules for beer and snacking.
Can't face making anything? No problem! As easy as it gets; straight-from-the-bag bar snacks; crisps, dips and nuts and the beer style to go with it.