Beer to be the key ingredient, say experts

Related tags Rooney anand Beer Wine

Serving beer to be drunk with food will be the norm in 20 years time, according to experts.Speaking in a panel discussion at Brewing Up An Appetite,...

Serving beer to be drunk with food will be the norm in 20 years time, according to experts.

Speaking in a panel discussion at Brewing Up An Appetite, a beer and food feature sponsored by The Publican at the Restaurant Show in London's Olympia this week, Rooney Anand, managing director of Greene King Brewing Company, said: "Think back 20 years to what British cooking was like - it was terrible.

"Now we have some of the best restaurants and pubs in the world.

"Things are changing all the time and, with a bit of work, in 20 years time we will be celebrating our food and our drink by serving great beers with great meals."

Simon Loftus, chairman of Suffolk-based brewer Adnams, said he thought the British were too slow to praise their own heritage.

"Beer is something we should be proud of in Britain," he said.

"But somewhere along the line we've forgotten how to make the most of it and wine has become the drink to have with meals. But beer goes brilliantly with food and people are beginning to see that again."

Mr Loftus said publicans and restaurateurs should not worry about creating dishes to complement beers.

"How often does a chef create a menu to accompany a wine list?" he asked. "Very rarely I'm sure.

"It doesn't take a lot of work to match beer and food successfully - just a bit of thought. For example we know stout goes well with oysters but why stop there? That shows beer goes fantastically well with seafood."

Both Mr Loftus and Mr Anand agreed that to make beer and food appeal to customers it has to be demystified.

"New World wines have done a great job in using simple language on bottles and including easy-to-understand serving suggestions," Mr Anand pointed out.

"We are now doing a similar thing with our beers. We need to use language customers will understand. If a beer is hoppy say so, but also explain what that means.

"If we all work together we can make beer the drink of choice for diners."

Pictured: Rooney Anand is keen to promote beer and food

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