Kicking things off with the first of my beer pairing sessions, I thought I’d try out the combination of a spicy curry with a sharp, fruity and spicy American style IPA.
The English IPA or India Pale Ale was brewed to survive the long trips from England to India back in the 19th Century.
By loading more hops into the beer, the antibacterial properties ensured that infection didn’t take a hold.
The additional hops would have added far more in the way of aroma and flavour to the IPA but due to the choppy conditions of the sea as well as the temperature extremes, the IPA would have been highly attenuated.
The IPA we have chosen is an American style from Brewdog known as Rye Hammer.
Rye Hammer, a part of Brewdog’s Hammer Head series is loaded with grapefruit and citrus hops including Amarillo, Centennial, Citra, Columbus, Simcoe.
A Roasted caramel, spicy rye and a biscuit backbone then moves into a ruthless Hammer Head bitterness.
The Keralan coconut curry is a fragrant and spicy South Indian dish consisting of coconut milk, tomatoes a selection of spices such as cardamom, turmeric, coriander, garam masala and curry leaves.
Although the Keralan coconut curry does contain chillies, the idea is to keep it mild and creamy so that the spices sing in the rich sauce.
Our variation contained chicken, peppers and sliced onion as well as a portion of steamed rice.
We really lucked out with the choice of beer against the style of curry.
The intensity of the fruit flavours and malt in Rye Hammer handle themselves really well against the subtle heat and the spiciness of the coconut curry.
The grapefruit and citrus hops pair up with the softer spices in the curry, whilst the intense bittering effect of Rye Hammer helps to cool the heat as well as boost the saltier notes. Of course, the salty and coconut sweet elements go hand in hand.
Finally the malts offer a little dryness and a refreshing finish.
If anything, Rye Hammer helps to really develop and bring out the flavours of the curry whilst also cooling things down and offering a fruity yet refreshing finish.
We can see it working with for hotter curries that offer bigger bolder flavours too.
We highly recommend pairing Rye Hammer with a lightly spiced and creamy curry.