THERE was once a time when matching beer and food meant one thing to most people: eating a kebab after a night at the pub.
These days, beer dinners - where a multi-course meal is served with a different beer for each course - are becoming quite a trend.
On the South Coast in the last eight months there have been more than half a dozen such events.
Some feature beer and wine with each course and the diners vote on which worked best to declare a "winner" for the night.
Others simply pair up food with beers.
The Little Prince bar is taking the latter approach with their latest dinner on March 26 called A Tale of Two Cities, which pairs locally sourced menu ingredients with craft beers from Melbourne.
The bar has held a few of these events before and co-owner Katie McKenzie said that at first she'd have to explain what a beer dinner was, but not any more.
Ms McKenzie said there was a mix of people who turn up to the dinners.
"I think some people turn up for the novelty," she said.
"They're intrigued by the idea, if it's something new to them.
"But there are also a growing number of people who have an appreciation for craft beer.
"They recognise that it's an opportunity to try different things, learn about different styles and understand beer and how it's made and all the wonderful different things that it can be."
Ms McKenzie will be one of those charged with the tough task of finding five beers from Melbourne for the dinner, while chef James Calloway will be focusing on a menu calling on ingredients sourced from within 100 miles (161 kilometres) from the Little Prince.
Does the beer have to match the food or vice versa?
"It's a bit of both," Ms McKenzie admits.
"I might say to the chef, 'we're having this style of beer. I want you to come up with a dish that is going to complement it'.
"Then at the same time, the chef is keen to show off the local produce.
"It's really a case of give and take between us."