The North's Best Beers

Nothing goes together like a bevvy and food. Well actually, loads of things do: pink and red, cheese and jam, wine in the bath. Nevertheless: we asked three of your favourite breweries what they'd recommend serving with their beers...

Feature by The Skinny | 05 Jan 2017

Runaway Brewery

"We love our food here at the brewery – almost as much as our beer! So much so, we often have certain dishes/cuisines in mind when we design our beer. Having hosted the GRUB food fair between March and October, we've had plenty of opportunities to put the beer/food pairing theory into practice. So here's a couple of our favourite combos from this summer..."

Runaway Pale Ale with wood-fired margherita pizza
"Our Pale Ale is crisp and refreshing, with juicy citrus hop flavours and aromas. The malty backbone of the beer matches well with the wood-fired, bready base and the rich, sweet tomato sauce. The clean crispness of the beer provides a great foil to all that melted cheese, and also helps to cleanse the palate. It's also great with spicy, aromatic dishes."

Smoked Porter with roast pork bao
"Our Smoked Porter is brewed with a mix of roasted and beech-smoked malts. It's a rich, dark, roasty beer, with a hint of sweet beech smoke and a hint of vanilla. It matches beautifully with BBQ burgers or steak, but really works well with rich, slow-cooked meats such as beef brisket, chilli con carne or spicy, sticky roast pork. We tried it a number of times with char siu bao (steamed buns) at the food fair this summer – delicious!"

Northern Monk Brew Co

"We'll suggest two pairings, one for our easy-drinking flagship session favourite (Eternal), the other for one of our huge over-the-top special beers (Black Forest Strannik)."

Eternal Session IPA with tempura 
"The Eternal Session IPA is Northern Monk Brew Co's flagship beer that has won a World Beer Cup medal. We recommend pairing it with tempura. The sharpness from the hops' bitterness works well for cutting through the batter's richness. However, the flavours of the typical seafood and vegetables used for this dish are delicate enough not to overpower this light-bodied 4.1% ABV ale. Every aspect of the dish is also perfectly complemented by citrus notes in the hops."

Black Forest Strannik Russian Imperial Stout with blue Stilton 
"Part of Northern Monk Brew Co's Twist range, the Black Forest Strannik Russian Imperial Stout takes inspiration from Germany's classic Black Forest gateau. This version of our seasonal imperial stout Strannik is brewed with dark chocolate, morello cherries and milk sugar.

"To match the intensity of the beer's full body and 10% ABV, we recommend pairing this beer with blue Stilton. The cheese's bold flavour and salinity stand up nicely to the roasted malt base. At the same time, the sweetness and fruitiness from the cacao and cherries balance out the flavours and elevate the complexity of this pairing to a whole other level."

Marble Brewery

"As our tap house The Marble Arch has an amazing food menu (even if we say so ourselves), we've paired up a couple of our beers with that – the first of which was taste-tested by a pub-full on the launch of the Black Sunshine a few weeks ago!"

Black Sunshine BIPA with duck terrine, apple compote and sour dough bread
"The bright gooseberry-led hop notes marry well with the jammy apple compote while bouncing off the salty meat. The speciality dark malts in the base of the beer marry together with the richness of the duck to make this an altogether robust and lavish snack."

Lagonda IPA with burger, fresh salad, relish, cheese, mustard and chips
"Make sure the mustard is nice and strong and the Lagonda will have a calming effect on the spice, allowing the sweeter flavours to come through without overpowering the condiment. The resinous lemon/lime zest hops will cleanse the palate between bites, cutting through the fattiness of the patty. This should prevent the meal from becoming too heavy. Avoid blue cheese; choose something like a mild Swiss."

Read the full list of winners in our 2017 Food and Drink Survey here