Imbibe Live 2017 - Beer & food pairing courtesy of Galvin HOP

Beer & food pairing courtesy of Galvin HOP

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The hotly anticipated first Taste Zone session of Imbibe Live 2016 was beer and food matching chez Galvin HOP and, as you might expect, it was packed out.

Warren Geraghty, the Galvin Group’s executive chef and a founding partner in the HOP pub group, joined with Andrea Briccarello, head sommelier, to act as our guides, with the talented Kevin Tew prepping the food behind the scenes.

There was always going to be buckets of enthusiasm from Warren and Andrea, both of whom have been involved with Galvin’s refined, classic way of doing things for so long. So, when you add a new concept pub into the mix, it paves the way for a whole new approach to food pairings… Out with the Wine and in with the Beer!

A six-strong selection of beers ranged from an Irish IPA from Irish brewery, Eight Degrees, to the moreish Tontine Stout from Cameron’s Brewery, all paired with innovative and sometimes out-there foods.

All pairings proved both interesting and delicious, with a particular favourite being the Ginger Hare from Bath Ales matched with a Spiced Herdwick Lamb Pastilla. The ginger in the beer dominated at first, almost too much, but when tasted alongside the spiced lamb it mellowed and bonded, almost as if they had never been apart.

Interestingly, as the tasting progressed you began to see the different ways the two approached the pairings. Warren’s approach, classic for a chef, was to taste the beer and think what foods might go well or be interesting alongside it, while Andrea, as you might expect from a classically trained sommelier, was to taste the food first, and then think what type of beer might work with it, in terms of acidity, alcohol, bitterness, sourness and so on.

Each match kept on throwing up surprising pairings, giving real insight into the world of beer and food which I can only see going from strength to strength.

Written by Ed Warr, Imbibe & Square Meal events planner


The Galvin HOP Imbibe Live Taster Menu

1. 8 Degrees Brewery, The Full Irish IPA, 6%, from Ireland Craft Breweries - Rugbrod with smoked cod’s roe butter
2. Adnams, Mosaic Pale Ale, 4.1%, Adnams - Cured ham with fresh peach & pine
3. The White Hag Brewery, Beann Gulban Heather Sour Ale, 7.5%, Ireland Craft Breweries - Pig's head & sauce gribiche
4. Bath Ales, Ginger Hare, 5.2%, Bath Ales - Spiced Herdwick Lamb Pastilla
5. Savour, Sparkling Beer Brut, 10.5%, Savour Beer - Whipped Epoisse cheese with walnuts & crisp chicken skin
6. Cameron's Brewery, Tontine Stout, 4.1%, Heathwick - Chocolate & Jerusalem artichoke brownie, butter cream & brittle

Head to the first Galvin HOP pub in Spitalfields to see Warren’s specially tailored menu of pub food, including signature hotdogs and beer bites, and look out for the second HOP pub, The Green Man in Chelmsford, opening later in 2016.

2016 Testimonial Tweets