Duck liver parfait with brioche, wild mushroom and brown bread dumpling, Goast’s cheese crostini with sundried tomato pesto, mini white bean and bacon soup
With Paulaner or Zywiec

OVEN ROAST HAKE with lemon and basil mash, sautéed samphire, with cornstore red pepper relish (g)
With Heineken or Tiger
CHICKEN BREAST stuffed with chorizo on crushed baby potatoes, red onion and tomato salad and tarragon infused natural yoghurt
With Zywiec or Coors Light          

SLOW ROAST PORK BELLY with roast potatoes, sauerkraut, candied walnuts and a cider reduction (g)
With Tiger, Affligem or Zywiec

BRAISED LAMB SHANK with roast orange sweet potato, celeriac and green beans (g)
With Affligem or Zywiec

CANNELLONI OF BUTTER NUT SQUASH goats cheese, spinach and figs with sun dried tomato pesto,
rocket salad (v)
With Birra Moretti

WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE west cork strawberries and short bread biscuit
With Paulaner or Affligem

Belgian Master Beer Sommelier Marc Stroobandt (right) breezed into the Cornstore earlier this week for the Heineken Beer Food Matching Menu. Informative, entertaining, Marc was the star of the evening, a very enjoyable one indeed.

Not only has Marc has been described as bringing 'rock and roll' to beer, but he has also been awarded some of the highest accolades in the global brewing industry!  He has been given an honorary knighthood by the Chevalerie du Fourquet des Brasseurs of the Confederation of Belgian Brewers and the title of Commander in the Order of De Roze Olifant (The Pink Elephant). You may read all about him here .

Met Marc and the Cornstore’s Mike Kelly at the counter where we sampled a couple of the beers on the list. Both were lagers, both reasonably well known: Tiger from Singapore and Birra Moretti from Italy.

Brewed since 1932, Tiger Beer is now available in more than 60 countries, winning over drinkers in major cities around the world. It is the winner of over 40 awards. Birra Moretti is the result of a production process that has remained almost unchanged since 1859. A special blend of high quality hops gives it a unique taste and fragrance, enhancing its perfectly balanced bitter taste. Must say, I had a slight preference for the Italian here.

As you can see from the menu (above), the beers served with the starter were the popular Polish lager Zywiec and the German Paulaner. From my point of view, the Polish beer was a bit unlucky in this match as the Paulaner won hands down. If you were out for a session and had just these two to choose from, then maybe the Zywiec might be better for the long run.

The starter selection was excellent and my main course, the Chicken, so well set off by the potatoes and a very very tasty salad, was top class. As it happened, Marc served us with the Birra Moretti for this course and it was a perfect choice. Indeed, the Moretti seems quite an all rounder with food, especially the lighter dishes.

What could match the dessert, the tempting White chocolate and strawberries? A small glass of Paulaner did the trick.

Speaking of tricks, Marc had a few, like tasting the “head” with a plastic spoon to get to know your beer, covering the top of your glass before sticking your nose in to get the aromas (saw Liberty Wine’s David Gleave MW doing the same a day later with Olive Oil). And one for photographers! If the head in your glass has more or less vanished, lift the bottle high and gently pour in a few spoonfuls and you’ll have a perfect head in an instant!

Thanks to Heineken and Marc and to all at the Cornstore, we had a lovely evening of food and beer, leaving quite a  few of us very impressed with the idea, including one French chef who had never considered the possibility of matching anything other than wine to food.

At the end Marc, also an advocate of beer with cheese, tried to win me over to Affligem, Belgium’s abbey beer. Brewed in the Flemish village, Opwijk, this top-fermenting beer is still brewed according to the original recipe. Not bad but, sorry Marc, my top two were the Moretti and the Paulaner. Different strokes for different folks!

Oh and do watch out for another beer/food evening at the Cornstore as Mike Kelly intends to put on an evening with all Irish beers. Should be a good one!


Anonymous said…
Sounds like a great evening Billy, was sorry I couldn't make this one. Will watch out for the Irish beer night :) Sheila