Beer Pairing Basics 2: French Food with Beer?

This is Part 2 of the Beer Pairing Basics with San Miguel Lifestyle Brews. This time, it was a private, by-invite-only event. (Maybe because matching beer with French food is risky and experimental?)

The premise is, if we can pair French food with wine, why not beer?  Let me share with you our experience…

San Miguel Lifestyle Brews Beer Pairing Series:

The beer appreciation dinner was set in La Regalade French Bistro, with Chef Karen Martin designing the food and beer pairing. The night was hosted by the awesome DJs from RX 93.1.

They served a six-course degustation menu. Each dish was paired with its own San Miguel Lifestyle brews beer. The intent was to open up the possibilities for beer — that it is not only for pairing with pulutan but also with gourmet food.

CANAPES AND HORS D’OEUVRES: Rabbit Rillette with Dijon Mustard, Cornichon Terrine Maison with Onion Marmalade, and Pearl Onion Tuna Carpaccio with Ten-Spice Rub.

The meal started with an appetizer of rabbit, terrine and raw tuna. The rabbit was something new to me, but it did not taste that exotic or different (probably because it was already in pate form).

It was paired with my favorite San Miguel Premium All-Malt, which is light and has a sweet, balanced taste. It went very well with the meats, particularly the terrine and the rabbit, but I found it a bit weird pairing beer with this type of bread. 

APPETIZERS: Calamari and Chorizo. Sauteed Calamari with Chorizo Pamplona, Tomato and Spring Onion.

This was a simple tomato-based appetizer. Most of the people at our table were not impressed by it. I thought that the calamari and chorizo were cooked well, but I don’t think the contrast of tastes worked.

It was paired with San Miguel Super Dry, which was not a good match either because it did not build on the taste of the appetizer. Also, this early in the meal, I didn’t want to get that bloated feeling that I usually get when I drink this type of beer.

SALAD: Goat Cheese and Pear Salad. Fried Goat Cheese on a bed of young Spinach leaves with sauteed Pears.

I would have preferred my goat cheese not to be fried and my vegetables to look less wilted.

Cerveza Negra and Salad — not a good pairing also. It would have been better to leave the salad alone (i.e., sans the beer).

SEAFOOD MAIN DISH: Snapper with Rosemary Butter. Seared Snapper Fillet topped with Rosemary Butter and served with Spring Vegetables.

The beer pairing experience started to get interesting with this good serving of snapper fillet. It had just the right amount of butter and the taste of rosemary.

It was paired with San Miguel Premium All-Malt, which complemented the taste of the fish but contrasted with the rosemary butter.

MEAT MAIN DISH: Lamb Navarin with Couscous. Stewed Lamb with hints of Ginger, Curry and dried Apricots.

I love lamb and I prefer couscous because of its small, soft grain. The lamb was well-marinated and had the right amount of spiciness. Some found the lamb meat a bit tough, but it was OK for me.

The lamb with San Miguel Super Dry was the best combination during the dinner. I was pleasantly surprised by how the beer’s dry, bitter taste enhanced the lamb’s spiciness and also added flavor to the sauce.  (I think San Miguel Super Dry has finally found its match!)

DESSERT: Creme Chocolat. Dark Belgian Chocolate Custard served with Almond and Coconut Tuile.

A smooth, light serving of Dark Belgian Chocolate — what a perfect way to end the dinner!

Everybody was quite happy, especially with how the deep, roasted malt taste of Cerveza Negra integrated with the chocolate taste.  (I imagine this is how chocolate beer would taste like…)

Overall, the winning pairs were the Lamb Navarin with Couscous + San Miguel Super Dry and the Creme Chocolat + Cerveza Negra!

Thanks to San Miguel Lifestyle Brews for organizing another beer appreciation dinner event! 🙂

San Miguel Lifestyle Brews Beer Pairing Series:

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Full Disclosure: San Miguel Lifestyle Brews is an official sponsor partner of Our Awesome Planet for the Ultimate Taste Test series. This event was a by-invitation-only, complimentary event.

P.S. What’s your favorite beer and food pairing?

6 thoughts on “Beer Pairing Basics 2: French Food with Beer?

  1. We take the stand that any beer goes well with anything and at any time 😀 !!! (Preferrably as a sip before any meal starts, though 😛 )

  2. We take the stand that any beer goes well with anything and at any time 😀 !!! (Preferrably as a sip before any meal starts, though 😛 )

  3. Yes, definitely beer with bread. One of the world’s heaviest drinkers, the Germans, eat bread w their sausages & schnitzels and drink a lot of beer….. 🙂

  4. I think there way too much foam in some of the glasses, which might distract from the tasting experience. A slight adjustment in the pouring technique solves this easily.

  5. on the contrary…beer goes especially well in wine loving france. especially in french country style cuisine wherein the food is very rustic. Even in countries like belgium and germany where there are many similarities in style( particularly in the borders). Beer is very popular. Dont want to put other chefs food down but the food style and over all food presentation of the entire dinner does not look good at all. Poorly done in my opinion. But in cooking… we are always looking for improvement and perfection. Cheers everybody!

  6. French food picture looks delicious. I love french food . French food with beer is nice combinations . I always go french restaurant in weekend and sometimes i make french recipes at home. I really enjoy it.

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