The rules for pairing beers with food are…. There are no rules!
Taste is obviously subjective and personal, but as a general rule you could follow that if a beer is bitter it can stand up against hearty pub grub. Hoppy beers works well with spicy foods, rich dark stouts compliment desserts and strong ales go well with cheese boards.
I learnt all this from Head Brewer Robert Walker at The Coach & Horses – and he should know he has been brewing beer since he was four years old!
Joining bloggers Lenny Loves Life, Sarah plus Laura, Call me Kim and Darren Campbell from Two Towers brewery, we were the first to try the pub’s new tour, talk and tasting.
Only half an hour away from Birmingham city centre and just outside the town of Alvechurch is the Coach & Horses pub. With extensive gardens, a newly refurbished restaurant and traditional ale house the pub also has its own microbrewery onsite.
Our tour started by taking a peek inside the microbrewery with Robert explaining the brewing process. Then we went into the traditional alehouse for sampling.
Two light, pale ales started us off. Chicken bacon and brandy pate on bruschetta topped with caramelised red onion chutney was paired with Weatheroak Hill Gold and slow roasted hash browns came with a Weatheroak Hill Single Hop IPA.
From the main course menu more delicious and hearty pub grub arrived – beer battered fish and chips, lamb shank on couscous, pork belly on mustard mash and duck salad, which we all happily tucked into. The beers were getting hoppier and slightly bitter by this stage.
Just to be polite, even though we were happily full by this point, the chocolate and caramel tart with ice cream got the thumbs up. The cheeseboard finished our meal with the recommended Brewers Choice – a new beer that had been named by a customer winning a competition – Weatheroak Hill Dip.
To ring the changes and do something different with a group of friends or colleagues, the warm welcome you will receive at this family-run pub, tasty food and craft ales all add up to a great night out.
The new talk, tour and tasting night will be held on the third Wednesday of every month, starting on 20 July. Join a tour, hosted by Head Brewer Robert Walker, before enjoying a four course meal which is paired with their best- selling ales. There is a minimum party size of four people for £17.95 per person and you can book on 01564 823386.