Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Curry Match Part 1

Home brew a beer to match a curry banquet...yeah ok then I'll give it a go.

The clubhouse at Walcountians Sports Club is in a poor state at the moment. There is an urgent need for a new roof so the onus is on everyone involved to raise as much money as possible. My section, the lacrosse club, is luck enough to have a talented curry chef who caters for 100 people each year at his curry buffet night. This year in addition to the curry buffet we will be having a more up market Curry Banquet as an additional fund-raising event.

I will be adding value by attempting to home brew a beer specifically to match the curry served at this banquet.

What factors are there to consider when matching beer to curry. We certainly don't want some flavourless fizzy (or not so fizzy...yes I'm looking at you Cobra) lager. But this at least gives me a decent name Mongoose, cause it eats cobras for breakfast(1).

Strong flavours in the curry will need a strong beer to match. ABV needs to be high but not too strong...say around 6%. The beer needs to be bitter and well hopped ideally with plenty of citrus aromas, it needs a small amount of residual sweetness. Looks very much like we are talking about an IPA.

So we have a 6% Mongoose IPA that was the easy bit. But there are many flavours of IPA. We need to consider the grain backbone, how dark should the beer be, which hops for bittering aroma dry hopping. Should there be a twist, chilli, ginger, coriander or cardamom in the secondary?  Chickpeas in the mash?  So many possible variations, I guess I will be making a lot of IPA in the next few months.

(1) I am aware that the indian mongoose does not actually eat cobras, it is mainly vipers apparently but there is no premium lager called viper aimed at the curry market so I'm using a bit of poetic license.

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