Pie and a pint, a classic combo but what does it actually mean? Which pie, and which pint? Is it the appeal of the alliteration? The point of all these questions is to highlight the fact there’s a superabundance of different pies – and beer complements them all.
Recently it was British Pie Week (do weeks get much better?) and social media was awash with pictures and recipes of wonderful pies. We helped things along with a beer and pies Beer Club; the right beers to match your pastry perfection. We like to think beer helped make British Pie Week a little bit tastier (because it did).
Take the traditional steak and kidney. Here, go for a bitter where the distinct sweet, fruity flavours will enhance the flavour of the meat. Excellent options include Fuller's London Pride, Harvey's Sussex Best, Timothy Taylor's Boltmaker, Charles Wells Bombardier and Butcombe Bitter.
Beer has the diversity and dexterity to embrace all manner of flavour combos and pies afford the more culinary creative among us the opportunity to bring a whole mix of flavours together, as our recent beer and pies Beer Club showed. You asked us to pair beers to pies including chicken, ham and leek (try the complementary fruitiness of Shepherd Neame's Bishop's Finger), blackberry and apple (go for the blackcurrant notes of Barrell & Sellers Brown Ale), pigs cheek, chorizo and creme fraiche (sweet and spicy Ruby Red Ale from St Peter's Brewery), slow cooked lamb and red wine pie (the bold, rich and smooth Adnams Broadside matches up perfectly) and even game, smoked bacon and fig pie (Titanic Brewery Plum Porter has the depth and sweet fruit to more than cope).
But let's end with a beer and a pork pie, which is a brilliant way to end anything. For this most British of pies you require a beer that has sweetness to complement the meat balanced by bitterness and bubbles to cut through the richness of the pie. Just pay Tribute.