Beer pairing – the new alternative to wine pairing

Beer pairing – the new alternative to wine pairing

Whether you are dining at a Michelin Star restaurant with a sommelier to advise on a different wine per course, or cooking your favourite meal at home, pairing your wine with your food is second nature. You may not think of it as wine pairing when you reach for an oaky chardonnay with your roast chicken or a rose with a salmon. It can be a complex art or it can simply be you know what combo tastes good!

But 2024 is all about the beer pairing. With microbreweries producing a range of complex tastes, beer pairing is where it is at!!


Beer Pairing – the perfect match

Whether eating a perfectly griddled steak and fries, or chicken in a complex sauce, you want to make sure your drink provides the perfect synergy. You want your palate to be delighted with the flavours of both the food and the beer, with neither overwhelming nor dominating.


A science – but a fun one 😉

There is no such thing as “just a beer”. With intricate flavours and brewing methods developing, there is a craft ale to suit every palate and every plate. Whether you prefer fruity, herby, hoppy, pale or dark, the tastes are complex. This makes Beer Pairing a fun science to learn - and use!


Edmunds Restaurant

Edmunds in Bury St Edmunds is an AA Rosette award-winning college training restaurant. With the full offer, from the front of house to menu creation and production, being run and managed by students, it provides a unique offer.

The students gain real-life experience whilst they train for their future careers in hospitality. The menu is based on local, seasonal ingredients, and provides options to suit all dietary needs.

Edmunds provides a relaxing dining experience whilst the patrons leave in awe of the talent and dedication shown by the future Jamie Olivers and Lorna McNees.


Edmunds An Evening with Humber Doucy

In April, Edmunds hosted their first beer pairing evening. With a taster menu designed by the students in partnership with our very own Alan Ridealgh, the menu was designed to complement the diverse profiles of Humber Doucy brews.

Humber Doucy beer was even used in the production of three of the dishes. Not only did the menu show how beer can be used to enhance flavours, such as the Porter Chocolate Cake, but also how the flavours of both the food and beer can pop when partnered correctly.

The evening quickly sold out with all 60 diners experiencing a wonderful evening.



Claire Waterson, Operations Manager, at West Suffolk College, said “We were delighted to host a successful beer pairing event at Edmunds restaurant, showcasing our learners’ talents alongside local businesses. This innovative culinary experience, featuring small plates and beer pairing, highlighted our commitment to unique dining experiences in our community. Partnering with Alan and the team was a pleasure, emphasising our passion for fantastic local produce and fostering creativity and innovation within our community”.


Humber Doucy – a brew for all occasions

Humber Doucy produced Haze, an in-house beer for Edmunds in 2023. During those discussions, the Chef, Rob Reynolds, learnt about the diverse flavour mix of Humber Doucy brews and the idea of a beer tasting evening was born.

The pairing was agreed between Rob and Alan. Including the rare Oak Aged Porter in the chocolate dessert was the perfect way to end the taster menu.

Alan and George Irving from Humber Doucy Brewing engaged the diners in conversations about food and beer, to explain the pairings and talk about their two favourite loves in life 🤣

“We loved the evening. From helping to put the menu together, to talking to the diners, we loved sharing our knowledge and passion”, said Alan, “Perhaps the quote heard most regularly was that “I can’t believe the beers taste so good and pairs so well with the food! We will definitely be doing this again.”

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