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Witbier and asparagus

Witbier and asparagus

There’s still a couple of weeks more to enjoy the British asparagus season so here’s an interesting beer pairing to try as a change fromwine. Belgian witbier or bière blanche like Hoegaarden is just perfect with green asparagus, especially when served with goats’ cheese.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the style, witbier is a light-coloured wheat beer aromatised with spices like coriander, cloves and coriander which makes it slightly spicy with a hint of orange and banana. It’s also left unfiltered which makes it attractively cloudy and is served very cold, sometimes with a slice of lemon. Although the style originated in Belgium and is common over the border in Northern France, many brewers elsewhere now make a wheat beer in this style.

It’s at its best with asparagus which is simply steamed, dressed with a light vinaigrette or served in a salad with goats’ cheese, crab or prawns. The only asparagus preparation I wouldn’t put it with is hollandaise sauce which will overwhelm it. (The late great Michael Jackson suggested a Westmalle Tripel or a Duvel.)

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