As a Certified Cicerone I’ve done some pretty swell things with beer. But I’ve never been more excited about any project as I am about the Beer Master Class Series I designed and am currently teaching. The four-part lunch-hour series aims to inspire lifestyle journalists and bloggers to write more about beer in all of its glory.

This Monday we paired five classic and trendy beer styles with five dishes from The Food Dudes. The pairings were mighty tasty, so I wanted to share them with you here so you can try them at home. First off, the beer style that dominated early Canadian brewing history — the English Pale Ale. We matched Special Pale Ale from Wellington Brewery with a red beet risotto cake topped with pickled yellow beets and herb goat cheese mousse.

Sweet and earthy, root vegetables like beets and parsnips, make natural partners for this fruity, earthy beer style. Here’s my fancy explanation on why it works:

Beer tasting note: A fruity English ale yeast strain is the signature of this Guelph brewery, and its plum and jammy aromas dance to the nose. Digestive biscuits take centre stage on the tongue before light fruitiness and spicy floral bitterness hit and make for a dry, slightly bitter finish.


Why the pairing works: This combo’s earthy notes – the beet’s sweet, soil-driven flavours and the wet, leafy, character of British style hops and its sweet caramel malt centre – compliment each other. While the pickled beet and goat cheese’s acidity were a welcome contrast.


Also sip it with: Earthy vegetables like mushrooms and beets, roast chicken dinner, spicy Indian curries, hearty whole grains, salads with toasted nuts and dried fruits, medium-aged hard cheeses.