Initiative partners Scotch meat with craft beer

In celebration of St Andrew’s Day (30 November), a new #Meat4Beer initiative has been launched to encourage consumers to pair Scottish beef, lamb and pork with craft beers. 

The campaign is the brainchild of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), The Brewers Association of Scotland (TBAS) and Scotland Food & Drink, which launched the idea at an event in Glasgow last week.

To demonstrate how compatible Scottish meat and beer are, chef Justin Maule of Wild Fig Food and Jamie Delap, managing director of Fyne Ales and board member of TBAS, were given the task of showcasing meals that place Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork, alongside craft beer, at the centre of both traditional and modern dishes. 

“We worked closely with Jamie on this menu to find the right flavours to complement each course,” said Maule. 

“We weren’t just interested in how the beers work with the dishes as a whole, but how the individual ingredients in each beer and dish impacted one another.” 

The team came up with dishes including Scotch Beef rib-eye stovies (potatoes and meat) with crisped onions – a traditional favourite, which was paired with the rich and malty Cross Borders Heavy; slow braised Scotch Lamb neck with orange, feta and olives, which was partnered with a hoppy Pale Keith by Keith Brewery which has hints of exotic fruits and lime; and Specially Selected Pork fillet with Dijon lentils and aioli, which was teamed with Top Out Brewery’s South Face, a rich, red IPA. 

“The joy of discovering craft beers is the extreme diversity, with flavour profiles which vary from one end of the spectrum to the other,” explained Delap. 

“There are no hard or fast rules to pairing the meat with beer, but some matches do work better than others and by experimenting with different options, people will find a side of the palate they may never have experienced before.”

Carol McLaren, head of communications at QMS, said this was an opportunity for consumers to take note and experiment with partnering their own meat dishes with craft beer. “Farmers and brewers work very hard to produce top-quality beef, lamb and pork and beer and there could be no better way of celebrating Scotland’s larder on St Andrew’s Day than be celebrating both in this way,” she said. 

“This has been a fantastic collaborative project to work on with The Brewers Association of Scotland and Scotland Food & Drink. Our thanks to Justin and Jamie for working so successfully together to create three fantastic #Meat4Beer pairing suggestions.

“We hope that others will take their lead and have fun discovering their own favourite combinations of craft beer and Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork.”

TBAS has joined forces with Scotland Food & Drink although it still retains its independence and autonomy. This means that any TBAS member can also access all the benefits of being a member of Scotland Food & Drink. 

“Run by brewers for brewers, TBAS exists to grow the value and reputation of the Scottish brewing industry,” said Caroline Wengel, business development manager for TBAS. 

“Part of this work is to encourage people to be creative with their choice of drink at mealtimes. There are amazing new Scottish beers and breweries available for consumers to try. Throughout the evening, we featured a number of delicious beers which were paired with incredible Scotch meats, a fantastic collaboration between TBAS and Quality Meat Scotland.”

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