Match of the week | Smoked eel and alcohol-free lager

Match of the week

Smoked eel and alcohol-free lager

If you go to a Michelin-starred restaurant you probably don’t expect to drink alcohol-free beer but my meal at The Ninth last week which was hosted by the best-selling alcohol-free lager Lucky Saint demonstrated that it’s a surprisingly good option for anyone who’s not drinking

Alcohol-free wines still have a good way to go before they hit the mark and I for one wouldn’t really want to drink a fruity cocktail or even an AF ‘gin’ and tonic throughout a meal so a good lager, that tastes like a full-strength version is very welcome. Amazingly 55 Michelin starred restaurants now stock it so I’m obviously not alone.

We tried it with a range of dishes and it was particularly good with these smoked eel canapés and also a deliciously saline squid ink pasta dish (cuttlefish malloreddus with crispy squid and bottaraga). Like most lagers it would be good with smoked, preserved and pickled foods, and of course fried food like fish and chips.

How to pair beer and food

I’d tasted it before but had forgotten how good it was. It’s actually made in Germany and fermented and conditioned for six weeks - longer than most commercial lagers - and left unfiltered for flavour. You can buy it in most big supermarkets now or direct from their website.

I ate at The Ninth as a guest of Lucky Saint

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