Food and beer pairing: Top 50 Gastropubs matches

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

There's A Beer for That said James Durrant's roast calves liver dish (pictured) would go best with Camwell Flame beer
There's A Beer for That said James Durrant's roast calves liver dish (pictured) would go best with Camwell Flame beer

Related tags: Beer, Brewing

Top 50 Gastropubs 2016, the PMA’s annual celebration of the very best in pub food, is approaching. To mark the event, Daniel Woolfson asked sommeliers from the There’s a Beer For That campaign to create special cask-ale pairings for dishes by some of the top gastropub chefs in the country.Here’s what they recommended...

Roasted calves liver with sage salsa verde, caper, raisins, new potatoes and crispy ham (James Durrant, the Plough Inn, Longparish, Hampshire)

The match:​ Camfell Flame, Wharfe Bank, Wharfedale, West Yorkshire

Why it works:​ “This award-winning ruby premium ale is bursting with flavour with its complex mix of malts, providing a delicious contrast to the delicate, subtle flavours of the liver without overpowering it.”

Current Top 50 Gastropubs ranking:​ 4

sportsman slip sole

Slip sole grilled in seaweed butter (Stephen Harris, the Sportsman, Seasalter, Kent)

The match:​ Citra Nova, The Durham Brewery, Bowburn, Co Durham

Why it works:​ “This pale bitter has a full flavour which gives a satisfying contrast to the mild flavours, while the underlying citrus acts like a lemon, complementing the fish.”

Current Top 50 Gastropubs ranking:​ 1

woodpigeon - mason's arms

Breasts of woodpigeon with beetroot and balsamic vinegar (Mark Dodson, the Masons Arms, Knowstone, Devon)

The match:​ Good Old Boy,
West Berkshire Brewery, Thatcham, Berkshire

Why it works:​ “The blend of rich malted barley and fruity notes means this classic bitter is well-balanced and full-flavoured, standing up to the deep, complex and earthy flavours of the wood pigeon.”

Current Top 50 Gastropubs ranking:​ 39

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Saltmarsh hogget and cockle pie with samphire, creamed mash and lamb gravy (Stosie Madi, the Parkers Arms, Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire)

The match:​ Late Red, Shepherd Neame, Faversham, Kent

Why it works:​ “This ale has a rich, dark malt flavour which provides a tasty backdrop to the hogget, while the spiciness and dryness contrasts with the creamy mash and lamb gravy.”

Current Top 50 Gastropubs ranking:​ 41

sticky walnut pudding - pony and trap

Sticky walnut pudding with salted caramel sauce and stout ice cream (Josh Eggleton, the Pony & Trap, Chew Magna, Somerset)

The match:​ Old Henry, Hobsons Brewery, Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire

Why it works:​ “This rich, auburn ale — with its complex flavours — goes perfectly with the richness of the pudding, while the clean finish cleanses the palate in between bites, leaving you wanting more.”

Current Top 50 Gastropubs ranking:​ 2

Top 50 Gastropubs is sponsored by Estrella Damn, with associated partners including Schweppes, Appletiser and Berkmann Wine Cellar.

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