New Year’s resolution: Let's stop with the beer vs wine bulls**t

Thursday, January 09, 2014
As is pretty clear from my writing, beer is far and away my favourite drink and I am a huge believer in beer and food matching, but even I'm getting a little sick of the ‘beer vs wine’ attitude that is still out there amongst advocates on both sides of this imaginary battle line.

We’re past the point where beer isn’t getting a look in when pairing with food, with even the most high profile wine writers bowing to the merits of a well made brew alongside certain dishes. Sure there’s still a way to go and there are far, far too many quality restaurants out there with woefully lacking beer lists (or no list at all), but things are improving and it’s important we celebrate the triumphs alongside calling for change.

However while we’re vying for menu space for beer it’s important to remember that it isn’t about whether beer is a better match for food over wine, it’s about what drink is the perfect accompaniment to a particular dish. It's hard to argue there could be a more perfect partner to strong, funky blue cheese than a glass of Fuller’s Vintage Ale, or a smokey porter alongside some intensely flavoured barbecue brisket – but equally is there a beer that could rival the almost green olive like dryness of a fino sherry with a plate of Iberico ham? Or the almost symbiotic relationship between a big, full bodied Malbec and a charred ribeye steak?

There are so many amazing flavour combinations out there to enjoy when pairing beer with food that those wine writers, critics, and drinkers who haven’t yet discovered quality beer are beginning to be the minority, but can the same be said for beer drinkers? Are we getting a little blinkered in our obsession?

2014 is the year that I’d like to step back, take it all in, and say “can’t we all just get along?”



After thoughts... It's hard to believe this is my first post since the 11th of December. That's almost a month, which is pretty poor form by anybody's standards. The combination of a busy December at work and then a somewhat hectic Christmas and New Year - incorporating St Albans, London, East Yorkshire and Liverpool - conspired to keep me from writing a thing. Even my unfinished Golden Pints never saw the light of day.

This post was in some ways inspired by this excellently succinct piece on matching pizza with beer and wine by Guardian writer Fiona Beckett: