Saturday, 8 August 2009

Curry and beer

I have been away, now I'm back with a vengance! I promise more updates and on a wider array of topics.

Firstly, my ultimate food and beer pairing:

Curry and beer. Simple, straightforward but impossible not to love. I normally make my own curry but was feeling very lazy and as you can see in the photo, ordered a takeaway. This in itself is a real treat, you see I always order from The Prince Of India in Faversham. These guys know their curry, I would go so far as to say that I have never had better. The curry in this picture is their chef's special; Bombay Flame made with Naga chillies, spicy stuff!

Now to the beer, without trying to sound too egotistical (I make the bloody stuff) Skrimshander IPA is one of my all-time favourites. Hops, biscuity malt, more hops then a really nice slow bitter finish that grows and grows on the tongue.

When put together magic happens, two things combine to create something greater than the sum of their two parts. The curry tingles and heats, savoury with a hint of sweet coconut. The beer washes in, cooling, sparkling, refreshing the palate, the bubbles intensifying the chili zing round the mouth. The sweetness mimicking the curry but opposing it with a massive bitter finish to leave your mouth craving for more heat, then more cool. A sensory smorgasbord.

After the curry is almost my favorite bit, the beer is a natural sedative, alcohol and hops slowing everything down, relaxing you. Capsaicinoids found in the chili increase heart rate, release endorphins and buzz you up. The 'up down' sensation from both is really pleasant, similar to what this beer tries to achieve.

So, I have shown you mine, now show me yours. What do you drink with curry? Lager? IPA? Perhaps something entirely different. Let me know.


  1. Flying Horse Lager.

    Weren't you supposed to drop some beer in the post, or were you playing double agent trying to get my home address??

  2. I'm afraid Hess hacked my mail server in order to get your address so he can post you some anthrax spores.

    I haven't forgotten mate, I have been away for a couple of weeks. I'll try to get it in the post tomorrow!

  3. I'm with you on Skrimshander - it's a great curry beer, balancing the hops and sweetness perfectly.

    I know some people advocate super hoppy beers with chilli but I'm not one - I think they crash and the hops just increase the heat unpleasantly. I'm all for full bodied pale ales with a little hop bite - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Worthington's White Shield, Jaipur. I do plan an experiment some time with different curries and different beers - weisse, lager, stout, IPA, DIPS, etc - to see which fares best.