A Passion for Local Food and Beer
A rare opportunity to learn about the history of beer making and sample a range of beer styles, each with different qualities, tastes and strengths, matched alongside a fantastic menu created by Head Chef Jason Shaw using Stokes sauces.
Last Friday 4th October we were joined by Belinda Jennings from Adnams in Southwold, Rick Sheepshanks of Stokes Sauces in Rendlesham and 35 guests, we kicked off the first of our Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival fringe events with another three events planned over the next few days.
We opened the evening with a taste of Southwold bitter, a copper-coloured beer with a lingering hoppiness.
Following this we proceeded to match our starter of goats cheese and cracked black pepper panacotta with Stokes beetroot relish (packed with crispy refreshing shards of beetroot steeped in a deliciously syrupy red wine sauce) and Grissini Sticks with Ghost Ship, a pale ale with a malty backbone.
The main course of Sutton Hoo chicken and Suffolk ham schnitzel with wilted greens, sautéed lyonnaise potatoes and Stokes chilli jam (a delicious sticky jam made with chopped sweet chilli peppers) was perfectly matched to Spindrift, a golden craft beer, full of flavour with a crisp refreshing citrus taste.
A fabulously refreshing dessert of passion fruit and mascarpone tart served with orange sorbet and Stokes Lemon Curd (made with lemons, rich butter and pasteurised British free range eggs) was matched with Innovation, one of the new craft beers from Adnams, using Boadicea, Columbus and Styrian Goldings hops to create punchy grapefruit flavours and aromas of tropical fruits.
And to finish off a legendary dark ruby red Broadside complemented the chocolate covered petit fours and coffee.
Deputy Head brewer Belinda Jennings, presented the evening’s beer pairings and taught us about how beer is brewed from four basic ingredients: Barley, water, hops and yeast, how sugar is extracted from barley so yeast can turn it into alcohol and CO2, creating beer.
Rick Sheepshanks of Stokes Sauces then talked about his weird ideas that sometimes turn out to be best sellers such as their Steak Sauce made with tomato, sugar & cane molasses, Worcestershire sauce and horseradish root to pack a smooth punch and “not so great” ideas such as the idea to create MayoMite – a partnership of Marmite with Stokes Mayonnaise.
Throughout the evening our resident pianist played in the background with guests raising lots of questions such as:
Q: “Where do your ideas come from for different sauces?”
“I come up with most of the ideas, some not so good! But in the main – such as the Steak sauce which is my take on the well-known sauce is the US – A1 sauce” replied Rick.
Q: “Are you are a Chef?”
To which Rick replied “No, I just like creating new ideas, luckily I have a team of chefs behind me!”
Q: “Who comes up with ideas for new beers?”
“The brewing team and Jonathan Adnams encourages us to be different and try new things” replied Belinda.
Q: “Are your beers copyrighted?”
To which Belinda replied “The recipe is on the back of each bottle, but it’s the method that would be difficult to do at home…”
What a success this evening was; a true celebration of two great local suppliers with a real passion for local produce. To find out more about other events coming up, click here