Now I am in no way a beer drinker, so this pop up event of a 7 course chicken wing tasting menu, we all know how passionate I am about wings. Just ask Noodle. I am sure she’ll show you the pictures, with matching beer, was a bit daunting. Each course was paired with a beer, what was I going to do? The evening was put together by Brickwood Café (www.brickwoodlondon.com) and "We Brought Beer" (www.webroughtbeer.co.uk)in Balham. Chefs Jeremy and Kai came up with an exciting menu of several types of chicken wings from around the world and the guys from "We Brought Beer" matched a beer to each course.
I never thought that beer could be matched so well with dishes. I was truly blown away. The guys at "We Brought Beer" did an amazing job. From picking out the subtle flavours in each dish and choosing a beer that enhanced and brought your tongue to life. It was just like experiencing a classic tasting menu with matching wines at any top restaurant, see below for the menu and beers.
Brickwood Café usually runs as a coffee shop and brunch spot, in my opinion one of the best in London. This was their first of many pop up evening events. Tickets are limited and paid for at the door, which is great on the night as there is no bill, just arrive and enjoy. We arrived for the second sitting at 21:30 and were greeted at the door by the lovely staff and promptly handed the first beer while we waited to be called to our table. A few mins after sitting the first course was on the table, Chicken Wing Ramen, and being enjoyed by all. This was the only course that came with cutlery, everything else was set in the centre of the table for you to get stuck in to. From that moment on there was silence at the table. Each time the next beer was set down, we all knew the next dish was possibly better than the last and we waited in anticipation.
Naturally my favourite course of the whole night was the cheese course. It was a beautifully clever dish of Buffalo wings with a wedge of Stilton and celery jelly. Two neatly prepared Buffalo wings sat on the cheese board with a generous portion of Stilton, in place of the blue cheese sauce that is the traditional accompaniment, and the jelly. The textures and flavours were mouth-watering and I just loved the play on a classic BBQ house favourite. The beer couldn’t have been better matched. It was the Wild Beer ‘Sleeping Lemons’ which is a Gose. A German style, sour wheat beer, that has been brewed with preserved lemons. It is fresh and zesty, super easy to drink and it just cut through the spice of the Buffalo basting and refreshed your palette for the next bite. Recipe to follow in my next post.
Needless to say by the end of the meal everyone was well fed and beer-ed and my mind had changed. Beer is as complex and different as wine and it really did open my eyes to a whole new world of craft beers. I actually enjoyed it. Quite a lot really. I cannot wait until the next pop up! Keep your eye out for the next one, I will definitely be going.
I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on Food and Beer pairings.
All my love,
Good food is very often, even most often, simple food. - Anthony Bourdain