Here goes. Pork belly cured in Saison Dupont accompanied by celeriac puree — the beer’s spiciness and carbonation wrapped itself around the meat, hugged the fat, slapped the puree on the back and insinuated itself into the spices. A celebration. Brewfist Spaceman with mango salad, Asian spices and peanut: say hello to the deep orangey hues of this Italian IPA and it’s a greeting as effective as that between US and Soviet forces when they met on the Elbe in 1945. Cerviche. Bristol Beer Factory’s Southville Hop was used to cure fresh mackerel and then served alongside — what a beautiful result it was. The beer brought out the flavour of the fish, while its hop character of tropical fruit was kept intact. A sensual otherworldly experience somewhat akin to praying awaited with Ampleforth Abbey beer and a slice of well-aged Westcombe Cheddar —there was also a rarebit with the briskness of the beer’s carbonation and its toffee, coffee and dried fruit notes lapping at the well of creativity. Beavertown Smog Rocket was used to braise mussels and then served alongside — yes please, while home cured cucumbers were floured and deep fried as pickle chips before being served with Lindemann’s Cuvee Rene — an inspired match with the soft, gentle acidity of the cucumber lifting the vinousness and sherry like flavours of the beer. Oh look, here comes another triumph: smoked caramel ice cream and peanut brittle served with Arbor’s silky, earthy, bittersweet Breakfast Stout. If man is 5, the Devil is 6 and this match is 9 — the beer almost became a component of the dish, lifted its flavours, acted as a bridge and made the grown men in the room ooh and aah like babies. To finish: how about Triple Karmeliet with foie gras and banana chutney? Yes please.
So when in Bristol head to the Three Tuns at lunchtime and see what Ben at Meat and Bread has to offer (his sarnies are on the bar every lunchtime). And then on the way to the station pop into BrewDog and say hello — Bristol is yet another great beer city and I for one look forward to next year’s Beer Week.