Beer O'Clock this week comes from Real Beer's Stu.
Monteith's annual Wild Food Callenge began in Wellington this week and is rolling out around he country at various times over the coming month. It had me thinking of my early forays into craft beer, and of a food match of my own.
The Mac's and Monteith's beer ranges were my own first tentative steps away from the likes of DB Bitter and Mainland Draught. (Those weren't the days.) The Monteith's beers still do come across as 'stepping-stone' beers for me, not quite hitting the high points of some of the recent releases from Mac's – their arch nemesis brand. However, for the kids out there wanting to learn something, they are certainly worth trying if you're interested in a wider variety of flavours to your usual KGB or Tui (I think Emerson's 9% Bourbon Porter for example may be a bit too great a leap for the average teenage punter, and at $9 a bottle it is more than a little on the steep side ).
While not really standing up as craft beers I'd regularly purchase, I do commend the Monteith's marketing team for adding the Wild Food challenge to their brand. It challenges chefs and us as consumers, while promoting their brand no end. Food is a nice accompaniment to beer (yes, I did mean it that way around), especially if you're not quaffing great quantities of either. In fact, I rate it more highly than wine (not that you’d have guessed).
My Monteith's match is far from wild -- though perhaps simplicity is the new wild? It is, however, undeniably simple, extremely satisfying and works well in the dining room or infront of the plasma TV: Monteith's Black with a fresh Bordeaux baguette, Kapiti's French-style Camembert and Ruth Pretty's Springfield Pear Chutney. The dry roasted notes in the beer will cut through the fruity creaminess of the cheese and chutney, while complimenting the sweet crustiness of fresh French bread. Cheap, cheerful and deliciously feminine – a little something for the Rob Moodie in all of us.
OK blokes, you can have a kransky in yours and call it a hot dog...
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