Over the last 30 years, craft brewing in NZ has grown from 3 to 115 recognised craft breweries. However, with increasingly conscientious laws around drinking and driving, people are looking for different ways to enjoy a libation or two, and many craft beer brewers are recognising the greater sales reached by wine because it’s respectably imbibed at the dinner table.
With this in mind, some brewers are now developing beers with food matching as a focus. One such brewer is Good George Brewery in Hamilton. Alongside Good George, one of our well-known local restaurants, Matakana Market Kitchen, have developed some dishes that not only match the beer, but incorporate it into the recipes.
MMK Chef Anthony Thomas, a beer enthusiast too, says, “As many avid foodies know, the correct balance of flavours in a dish is what makes the difference between ok and amazing. What’s really cool now is that Brewers like Good George are making interesting beers, with depth and variation of flavours, offering a whole new look at what we can use as elements of a dish.”
MMK Manager Mike Harrowell adds, “Not only that, but now we can offer increased options at the table. Beer and food matches mean that our customers can expand their palettes and enjoy more than the one glass over dinner.”
MMK have used the seasonal release of Good George’s Black IPA to slow braise beef cheeks, bringing an intensity of flavour to a classic stew. Always keen to create locally, MMK also brought Charlie’s Gelato on board for the dessert, and had the Good George Doris Plum Cider turned into a sorbetto. Justin Fokkema, Vintry Manager, is in on the action too, with a Menu Tasting Night upstairs on Thursday 4th August from 6.30pm, and additional Good George limited edition beers both on tap and bottled.
The dishes can be found on the specials board down at MMK over the month of August, and with the Good George range being sold in one litre ‘squealers’, there’s no better time to sit down to a delicious meal with friends and crack open a beer.
If you want to be really fancy, you could even ask for an ice bucket.