Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beer and Butter Tarts/Chicken

Smallbeer safely returned from Suds-bury to deliver these important messages.

Thanks to Dave for putting me onto the Beer and Butter Tarts Canadian food and drink blog aggregator. This is a site that lets people find Canadian beer blogs without being a. another beer blogger, or b. members of my own family. Sadly, that's pretty much the extent of most beer-blogs' readership. Or at least crap ones like mine.

However, in return for this plug, Beer and Butter Tarts will aggregate me an audience of millions. I will then sell out, and drink free for the rest of my life thanks to google-ads.

To keep this post vaguely on-topic, I recently prepared a Beer and Butter Chicken pairing. I'm a die-hard curry fan, but not this artsy fare you find in Vancouver restaurants, or the timid, soupy type you seem to get in Victoria. I mean the REAL stuff. You know, like what they make in England...

To satisfy my urge for arterial and facial trauma, I tend to make my own curries. Lots of cream, garlic, handfuls of cilantro, half-the-spice-cupboard, and enough heat to bring an old man to tears.

My wife loves the mythical Chicken Tikka Masala. Pictured here is my version: basically a souped-up butter chicken with heightened spice and fresh tomatoes.

In England, I'd typically pair a Lamb Madras or Prawn Pathia with whatever lager they had at hand. Sheffield curry houses often have Kingfisher on tap, which does the job. But I'd heard that IPAs are a natural curry partner so I put my last Pike's India Pale Ale to use.

The Pike is a modest IPA, liable to get lumped into the "English"* category because it is not as powerful as many of its West Coast counterparts. That said, it has a resinous tang that cuts through the thick curry well. The body is not too full. It has a somewhat clotted-cream-like sweetness. Something more forthright might have stood up to the curry better, but the Pike was still an excellent partner.

SO. Do Canadian beer bloggers and yourselves a favour, and poke around Beer and Butter Tarts when you get the chance — particularly the BC section.

*Can someone suggest a reasonable definition for the "English" style IPA? I find the current tendency to categorize North American IPAs as either English-style (weak hops) and US-style (strong hops), to be a bit throwaway. I'm sure some critics mean something very specific when they say "English-style", but most, I suspect, are just riding the terminological bandwagon. There must be more nuanced distinctions. We should respect them.


  1. Great blog! Speaking of beer, I personally love Guinness...its great to cook with.

  2. I've spotted this bottle at the store, next time I'll pick it up and give it a try. I seem to be on a huge IPA kick right now...

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