Match of the week | Guacamole, salsa and a citrussy pale ale

Match of the week

Guacamole, salsa and a citrussy pale ale

Last Friday night Helen, our designer, and I had a bit of a works outing to our colleague Monica Shaw's who works on the nuts and bolts of the website. She cooked up an amazing Mexican feast of which this was just one element but it was striking how much better the whole meal went with beer than with wine.

It wasn’t that the wine was bad. We had a deliciously limey Peter Lehmann Wigan riesling which went extremely well with the guacamole too - as did a Sauvignon Blanc and a new English rosé from Dunleavy vineyards just outside Bristol.

But the beers we had - a selection from Helen’s other clients Wild Beer Co, Arbor Ales and the Bristol Beer Factory - were just so easy with the widely varied ingredients and dishes we threw at them.

I’m singling out the guacamole (which was properly chunky) with our first and second beers, Wild Beer Co’s intensely hopped Fresh and Madness IPA because they both had a citrussy edge that went brilliantly with the lime and coriander in the dip.

We also had roast squash-stuffed tamales with mole poblano, a big roast corn and avocado salad, refried beans, stuffed jalapenos, tomato salad and homemade pickles a punchy/spicy combination which went really well with an Arbor Yakima Valley American-style IPA. (A red wine big enough to handle all those powerful flavours wouldn’t have been as refreshing)

I can’t pretend we found a beer to go with the chilli-spiked mango fruit salad and ice-creams and sorbets but we finished with a flourish with some intensely chocolatey truffles with candied chillies and the Bristol Beer Factory’s raspberry stout - an unlikely but knockout combination.

It was the big flavours in the beers that carried the day too. Light lagers and more traditional ales wouldn't have worked as well.

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Comments: 5 (Add)

Fiona Beckett on May 27 2013 at 21:33

My favourite beer with chilli is an American-style brown ale. Tried that, Steve?

steve on May 27 2013 at 10:41

some great beer matches, chili for dinner tonight actually.

Fiona Beckett on May 27 2013 at 09:58

They'd probably come round to these new, fresher, more citrussy brews I reckon, Patrick. Pick up some when you're next over!

And can't wait to hear what you come up with Monica - has certainly re-kindled my interest in Mexican food

Monica Shaw on May 27 2013 at 09:30

I so enjoyed reading this - terrific recap of some great memories (food and booze, not to mention the great company). I'm already thinking about doing another Mexifeast later in the year, featuring a LOT more tamales (made ahead of time), Mexican coleslaw (I had planned this for Friday but didn't have time - a bit of a regret, but you know me, I'm salad-obsessed) and coming up with some new dishes - and some new delicious pairings. I hope you'll come again!

Patrick Carpenter on May 27 2013 at 08:11

I try converting the local French to IPA but apparently it is an acquired taste and they find it difficult acquiring; perhaps I should serve it with Mexican food!

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