An appetite for ale

Britain should put its national drink back on the dining table and reclaim beer as the perfect accompaniment to food.

CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) commissioned food writer and publican Fiona Beckett and her son Will to write An Appetite for Ale, the first cookbook to comprehensively explore this potential of beer as a partner for modern British food.

“Beer drinking has been woven into the fabric of life in this country for centuries, says Fiona.“It’s high time we valued our national drink as the ideal accompaniment to food that it has always been.

In many cases beer performs better than wine – especially with hard-to-match ingredients such as cheese, chocolate and spicy food.“It has an incredible range of flavours such as chocolate, smoke and caramel that you simply don’t find in wine, says Will who runs the award-winning Marquess Tavern in Islington, North London.

“Top chefs such as Raymond Blanc and Michel Roux now offer beer lists in their restaurants because they know how wonderfully diverse ale can be. In An Appetite for Ale, a whole range of recipes have been created to show the versatility of British ales and other beers from across the globe. Family favourites like smoky bacon bolognese and smoked fish pie are given a beer-friendly twist while beer is incorporated in a range of appetising dishes such as cottage pie cooked with porter and delectable beer jellies and sorbets.

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