The unique line-up of beers from Sailors Grave Brewing inspired upmarket Thai diner, Longrain Sydney, to host its ever first beer dinner since opening in 1999.
Longrain founder Sam Christie organised the May 3 dinner, featuring five courses matched to six Sailor’s Grave beers.
“I tried a range of the beers with the distributor and just loved them. We were like, ‘let’s do an event’, because it’s perfect with our food,” Christie told Brews News.
Longrain head chef Griff Pamment appreciated Sailors Grave’s use of unusual ingredients including elderflower, seaweed, marigold and many different fruits.
“When you’re drinking craft beer these days, it can get a little samey. It’s just hops on top of hops,” Pamment told Brews News.
“The thing with Sailor’s Grave is, because they’re experimenting with some quite crazy additions to the beer, it gives me the opportunity to match food with it, in a way that you can’t when you’re working with just hops.”
Christie said it was not a barrier for him that the Sailor’s Grave beers are packaged in cans, a format unpopular in high-end dining.
“There’s a little bit of an obstacle to cans for some people, but I don’t find one. Cho Cho San, one of my other restaurants, has got almost entirely cans,” he said.
Christie said beer is a significant portion of the turnover in all three of his Sydney restaurants, which also include The Apollo, the Greek diner in Potts Point.
“Over the last three or four years, the selections of beer from close to home have skyrocketed and the quality has improved as well,” he said.
“I think beer’s quite a flexible beverage, moreso than a single variety wine, with shared food.”
Longrain hopes to host its second beer dinner later this year.