Monday, 16 February 2009

BEER BEARS FRUIT FOR SEAFOOD WINES

Wc16Feb09

david ellis

A READER dropped us an interesting note recently: he and mates love a seafood barbecue, but find that the few beers they share before the meal can tend to swamp the delicate flavours of the meal – and equally problematic – the accompanying lighter-style wines to go with seafoods.

So, he asked, are there some beers he and his mates could enjoy while cooking, and which would actually enhance the enjoyment of their seafood and wine to follow? It's not something we've done a lot of research into (but are certainly happy to give it a go!) but there is one relatively new beer on the market that we believe will achieve what our reader is seeking.

Its from boutique maker Monteith's, and is their Radler Bier – a "fruit beer" that's a concept which originated in the Bavarian Alps back in the 1920s, but is somewhat new here, with the beer being infused with lemon and lime juice.

The result is a zesty drop with a citrus spine and a residual sweetness that compliments the beer's natural bitterness and flavours. And while officially a "fruit beer" it is not a frilly "pop beer," and it certainly does makes a nice preamble to seafoods, salads and follow-up seafood-friendly wines such as Chablis, Riesling, Pinot Gris and even bubblies.

Monteith's Radler Bier is available at select liquor outlets at $16.99 for a six 330ml pack. ("Fruit beers," interestingly, are now the fastest growing segment of the beer market in America, enjoying an annual growth rate of 37%.)

ONE FOR LUNCH: A bubbly we experimented with in conjunction with our "beer, seafood and wine" tasting was the Evans and Tate Pink Moscato that certainly proved itself a great choice.

With a lovely fruity passionfruit, guava and watermelon freshness, and at just $18.99, this is an ideal crispy sparkler to enjoy over a long and leisurely sea-food and salad lunch – particularly as it has a lower than normal alcohol level.

(NEED A FOOD/DRINK MATCH? Check out http://www.vintnews.com )

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PHOTO CAPTIONS:

[] FROTHY start to seafood and wine barbecue: a "fruit beer" that won't negate the meal's flavours.

[] BUBBLY created with a seafood spread centre of mind.
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