The Hook Norton Brewery got into the swing of National Pubs Week celebrations by hosting a Beer With Food evening yesterday (February 21).
Stephen Coot-Williams, the award-winning chef at the Gate Hangs High pub in north Oxfordshire, prepared a six-course meal with each dish carefully matched to one of the brewery's beers.
Meanwhile, head brewer Stewart Main (pictured) treated the 25 paying customers to a tutored tasting of each of the beers, on what is normally a quiet evening for the pub.
Crab and pepper soup was matched with Generation; a full bodied Old Hooky was paired with a hot black pudding and pineapple salad; a fiery Chilli, bacon and tomato pasta was tamed by a glass of Haymaker; smooth full bodied Double Stout complemented a medley of puddings, and a glass of Twelve Days with its hint of malt and nutty flavours was paired with a selection of English cheeses.
Mr Main said: "Tonight beer is the entertainment. Beer drunk with food is vastly underestimated. Beer is often a better match with many dishes than wine as it refreshes and cleanses the palate allowing the taste of the food to shine.
"The presentation of the beer is very important, and all the beer is served in stemmed, badged half pint glasses."
National Pubs Week is organised by the Campaign for Real Ale.