Ale tasting notes and recommendations about which beers match which foods could soon be a common sight on pub menus thanks to Suffolk-based brewer Greene King.
The brewer, which also owns 1800 pubs, has launched its Beer to Dine For campaign aiming to bring beer back to the nation's dining tables.
It is pumping £750,000 into the campaign which will rebrand its beers with the Beer to Dine For logo, tasting notes and food suggestions.
Now, as part of the campaign, chef and restaurateur Ed Baines has matched the tastes of particular Greene King beers with food types to help encourage pub diners to drink beer with their meals.
Ed has tasted many different foods to consider which matches Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen, Abbot Ale to best effect.
He has also created several recipes designed to complement the flavours of Greene King's beers
Although many brewers, including Interbrew, Coors and Hall & Woodhouse, have been exploring the possibilities of matching food and beer for some time, Greene King is the first company to invest so heavily in the idea.
The campaign's Beer to Dine For logo will be put on Greene King menus and featured on exhibition material at the BBC Good Food show last week.
"Beer to Dine For will play an important part in our brand and trade marketing over the next few years because it reminds people that beer is relevant to them," said Greene King brewing and brands managing director Rooney Anand. "It addresses existing beer lovers and reaches out to new ones, through food."
Ed's discoveries about beer and food matching will be printed on the back labels of Greene King beers to help customers choose the right food to complement the beer.
If this proves successful the information will be printed on pump clips to help licensees and staff recommend beers to match particular foods.
Old Speckled Hen and Greene King IPA are also now available in larger bottles, designed for sharing over a meal.
Meanwhile Coors Brewers, another company keen to promote beer and food possibilities, has launched a special Christmas menu.
The turkey steak meal is available to licensees who serve Coors' sizzling platter and first choice menus and comes with point of sale service as well as menus and promotional tools.
"Obviously December sees a considerable uplift in the number of people eating out so we wanted to provide the right seasonal menu format to help our customers capitalise on food sales and the increase in sales of our brands," said key initiatives manager Cen Hayward.
Ed Baines's recommendations include:
- Greene King IPA: A good accompaniment to curries, Mexican dishes and other spicy foods
- Old Speckled Hen: Good with game, poultry, roast and cured meats
- Abbot Ale: Excellent with mature cheeses and rich pasta dishes
- Ruddles County: Its distinctive flavour can complement savoury dishes from fillet steak to sausage and mash or to contrast with the sweetness of a dessert