Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pies, Pasties and Pickle

Decent English ale brings out the pie eater in me. When I get that English hop flavour and complex yeast contribution I have a hankering for traditional English fare comprising savoury meats and ploughman's lunches. Everything works so damn well. I have my father to blame for this need. His food of choice with a pint of ale is a cheese and onion sandwich, which we eventually managed to track down for him at the British Beer Festival. There was a protracted period of time when he feared a total absence of his favourite ale supplement, but thankfully discovered a small stall in the corner of the cavernous Earl's Court venue where a very busy man was bisecting French rolls and stuffing them with mature cheddar and fresh onion. He was a very contented man for the rest of the festival. So when I opened this bottle of Brakspear EPA I felt compelled to complement it with the food I love so much. You have no doubt noticed that there is a distinct lack of pie and pasties on the plate in the photo, but I did the best I could given the limits of my fridge contents, and must declare myself very happy with the resulting collaboration. I greatly enjoyed Brakspear's Bitter and was very keen to try their EPA hoping that it would be a step up the flavour intensity ladder. In this respect it didn't disappoint having satisfying English hop character and the familiar complex malt and yeast flavour that I can't pin down. I tried the Brakspear Triple last year in my pre blog days and was very happy with the muted tones of the their bitter which was triple like to a degree. The EPA represents the middle ground, I suppose, and gives you everything you could hope for from a bottled pale ale.

4 comments:

Adeptus said...

I think it's hard to get those sort of pies in Ireland, but then I probably never looked hard. I also love having a ploughman's lunch kinda thing with my beer. Any beer! Bring on the strong cheese, pickled onions, an assortment of sausages and chunks of bread. Oh, and really hot mustard! Schlurp!

Thom said...

The pork pies are easy enough to get. But pasties are more difficult, while a ploughman's lunch is impossible.

John said...

Brakspear Oxford Gold is also a worthy tipple (IMHO).

I'll have to agree with you that the ploughman's lunch is a natural accompaniment to a nice pint of ale.

Bionic Laura said...

While I was in the UK we had a beer and cheese night. I will never again believe wine snobs who say wine and cheese go together. Beer and cheese is where it's at.