The Perfect Match: Meat, Meet Beer!
There’s nothing quite like ending a work day with a pint, complete with a hearty meal that hits the hunger spot. Typically, beer is enjoyed with a crazy good burger (with the works, of course!), but we set out to try and see if two different meats – namely pork and beef – prepared in various ways go down just as well as the other.
Are beef patties really the best way? We did the legwork of going on a taste hunt to two of foodpanda’s vendors, Meat N’ Chill and Old Boys Gallery, to help you save on calories, and here’s our verdict.
Beer Pairing n°1 – Meat N’ Chill
Calling themselves one of the best barbecue spots in town, Meat N’ Chill prides itself on offering great deals from affordable lunch sets to attractive student deals – all the savings without skimping out on huge flavours. We settled on their Texas-style beef back ribs and black truffle Angus ribeye steak, coupled with Bulmers (Original) and Rekorderlig (Wild Berries), to put these two crowd-favourite ciders to the test.
Bulmers (Original) cider doesn’t discriminate; it uses small, big, juicy as well as bittersweet apples to come up with a rich drink that’s balanced in both sweet and sour profiles. Best enjoyed very chilled or on the rocks, Bulmers is a great pairing with the beef back ribs as its bold savoury flavour is complemented by the cider’s sweetness. It’s an almost yin and yang situation with these two, which is always a good thing, especially for those who are looking for an alternative to beer.
This cider is on the sour end of things so for those who are looking for a sweet one, you’ll be disappointed. However, what we discovered is that it goes amazingly well with the ribs! So well that we swear it almost transforms the rich sauce into a caramel-like glaze, making every bite so much more satisfying. The sauce isn’t overpowering solo, but with the assistance of the Rekorderlig (Wild Berries) cider, it definitely makes the meal a little more exciting.
The Bulmers is almost too strong a match for the steak, as it does unfortunately wash away a little bit of the “meatiness” that one would traditionally enjoys when eating steak. In fact, it gives the steak a barely-there acidic edge which is a no-no in many a gourmands’ book, so perhaps this pairing isn’t the best one out there. We do have to mention though, that the ribeye was super juicy, tender and cooked to perfect doneness (medium rare all the way!).
Remember how we said Rekorderlig (Wild Berries) ends on a sour note? Well, get ready to be surprised when we tell you that the steak resulted in the cider oddly becoming bitter – much like a beer! Crazy, we know! We’re not sure if it’s just us, but it provided a really clean, crisp finish to every bite and then lingered on the palate with a slight bitterness. It’s a sensation that you either love or hate, but we like how these pairings constantly keep surprising us.
Beer pairing n°2 – Old Boys Gallery
These boys are well-stocked with their craft beers, proudly serving about 40 – 50 different types! The only beer they serve on tap is Kirin, but everything else is quite the novelty if you’ve not ventured beyond big name breweries.
Old Boys Gallery is a baby in the F&B scene, at only slightly over 6 months old, but it’s proving to be a hit with its young and experimental clientele when it comes to the drinking game. And honestly, who can blame them? We got served three different meat dishes – spam chips, manster burger and roast pork aglio olio.
Spam chips are known to be pretty salty, but oh-so-good. These are fried to perfection and almost greaseless (how do they do it?!), so you get all the flavour without that annoying coat of oil lingering behind. We have too many good things to say about this match but let’s start with how creamy in feels on the tongue when you take a good swig of it after eating a spam chip.
It brings about sweetness, then comes in the savoury bit, followed by enhancement of the saltiness, finishing with a trail of umami pleasure. When the chip is dipped in the accompanying wasabi mayo, now, that’s a whole other level!
On its official site, it states that the beer features outstanding depth of flavour – and boy, were they not kidding. It’s intense, deep and smoky on the nose, with a subtle sweetness to it. On the palate, it takes the positive characteristics of chocolate and coffee, which results in a velvety, smooth finish. However, because it is so bold, some may not take an instant liking to it.
When the beer is enjoyed with the beer, it actually emphasises the spiciness from the chilli padi in the dish, which isn’t very pleasant as the beer struggles to hold its own, and loses out to the dish’s intense heat. The generous chunks of roast pork are crispy and juicy but don’t manage to come through when drunk with the beer, sadly.
If the name’s familiar, it’s because this special beer is inspired by Iron Maiden. A real ale enthusiast, band vocalist Bruce Dickinson helped in the development of the beer, which has a true depth of character. Just like the band’s music, you can expect this brew to be pretty in-your-face and bitter, with a strong roasted maltiness to it.
The Manster burger, on the other hand, is very much your run-of-the-mill burger that will satisfy growling bellies adequately. However, it doesn’t have enough potency in itself to stand up to the imposing beer, as the taste of the meat sort of fades into the background with every sip.
Wani’s writing has always spoken on her behalf far more than the spoken word. Her emotional relationship with food is almost as intense as her crazy love for HIIT workouts. Having had experience writing about all things lifestyle, Wani now embarks on her freelance journey on foodpanda Magazine.