As Carlton & United Breweries softly reshapes the Matilda Bay brand to help recapture market attention, it’s great to see that they’re still keenly pursuing a place for their beer in highly regarded restaurants. Following Matilda Bay’s beer & food dinner at Melbourne’s Hare & Grace back in July, which seemed a little like a CUB staff party from the amount of company associated guests, they are now teaming up with Colin Fassnidge to showcase their beer range to diners in Sydney and beyond.
The recent craft beer movement has helped make some small inroads to the drinks menus of modern city dining, particularly in Melbourne during the last two years. However, it is still very rare to find a chef or restaurant that truly appreciates beer’s food matching qualities or offers beer matching suggestions on their menu. As our nation and culture clings to the dominating Aussie-okka-blokey-cold-yellow-swill image and perspective of beer, wine remains by far the primary choice for restaurant food matching, despite the diversity in flavour, character and drinking experience that beer can offer.
Matilda Bay’s marketing continues to trumpet the brand’s claim as “Australia’s original craft brewer”, however a recent chat to the brewer’s Marketing Manager, Jamie Fox, has highlighted that the disconnect from the mission and brewing strategy of Matilda Bay circa 1980s is growing every day. I look forward to bringing that story in full to you soon, when I find a moment to write-up my insightful chat with Jamie about the brand’s current direction and perspective. [JD]
MEDIA RELEASE: December 2012
Matilda Bay and Colin Fassnidge embark on a beer and food matching mission
With the intention of whetting the appetite for beer and food matching, Australia’s original craft brewer, Matilda Bay Brewing Co has joined forces with Sydney chef, Colin Fassnidge to match ten of his bang-up recipes to Matilda Bay brews.
Partnering with Colin was a no-brainer for the guys at Matilda Bay, with both keen on seriously satisfying and interesting flavours. His restaurants, Four In Hand (two chef hats) and 4Fourteen (one chef hat) are pretty damn good too! Plus they reckon he’s a bit of a legend.
Matilda Bay head brewer, Scott Vincent says, “We were stoked to hear that Colin was on board ‘cause there’s loads to be said about beer and food pairing – people don’t regularly consider beer over wine when it comes to food and to be honest, they’re missing out.”
Colin agrees and doesn’t get why beer and food matching hasn’t caught on in a big way yet, “If you’re like me and you’re into your beers, then it just makes sense. It’s all about complementing, contrasting and cleansing – if you pair the right beers with the right foods, you’re onto something seriously good . . . pretty obvious if you ask me.”
He suggests pairings such as his famous Roast Suckling Pork Shoulder with Matilda Bay’s Fat Yak Pale Ale, “The refreshing and fruity notes of the brew act as a cleanser on the palate and cut through the salty, richness of the pork – it’s awesome.”
As part of the mission, Colin also experimented cooking with a couple of the brews and has come up with a Matilda Bay Dogbolter Braised Brisket recipe and an Apple Tarte Tatin dessert that is topped off with a whiz-bang Matilda Bay Dirty Granny sorbet . . . mmm . . . like the sound of that?
Matilda Bay is famous for re-interpreting and experimenting with the great beer styles of the world, and its brews are top-notch partners for many of Colin’s dishes, both sweet and savoury.
Colin says, “It’s only a matter of time until restaurants start to seriously consider beer the same way they do wine and we can expect to see more than just three or four beers on drinks lists soon, making it less of an afterthought to wine.”
As part of its beer and food matching mission, Matilda Bay is hosting a series of beer and food matching lunches and dinners around the country. A couple in the pipeline include The Junction in Byron Bay (7 February 2013), The Lennox Point Hotel in Lennox Head (8 February 2013) and The Post Office Hotel in Melbourne (24 May 2013).