Many people might raise an eyebrow at the idea of serving a beer with dinner.
But Shaun Blissett and Ashur Hall, the brewers at the Illawarra Brewing Company (IBC), are keen to show that beer can work just as well as – if not better than – wine as a partner for food.
Today, they will host a Good Beer Dinner at Diggies, North Beach, to prove it.
The pair have chosen five beers from around the world to pair with the five-course dinner created by Diggies head chef Andy Burns.
‘‘A lot of effort has gone into making the beers that we’ve chosen,’’ Mr Hall said.
‘‘They’re not just your normal beers that you find at the pub on the corner. They’re nice beers, they’ve had a lot of effort put in and when you do match them with food they work very well.’’
This is the third beer dinner organised by the brewers from IBC. The first two, at the Little Prince and the Brewery, both sold out.
The five beers include hard-to-get varieties from Belgium, which is part of the appeal for lovers of good beers.
‘‘Most of the beers we get aren’t that readily available,’’ Mr Hall said.
‘‘With these dinners we want to get beers that people wouldn’t normally have access to, unless they go to a beer geek bar.’’
Chef Burns said he had created the menu – which includes rump and steamed buns with pork belly among a few surprises – and then the brewers worked out which beers to pair with each course.
A beer lover himself, Mr Burns had done a bit of beer and food matching at home so he didn’t find the menu for tonight’s dinner a great challenge.
‘‘It is pretty easy because there’s so many good beers out there now,’’ he said.