Seafood and wine is a classic pairing. But seafood and beer? Well, turns out, that’s a pretty good combination too.
A few weeks ago I headed through to Glasgow for a very special dinner hosted by Seafood From Scotland. They paired up with The Brewers Association of Scotland and Scotland Food & Drink to showcase two of the country’s best foodie exports: seafood and craft beer.
Held on the Tall Ship at Riverside, an impressive Victorian ship which is moored on the River Clyde, we were in for a treat with a five course tasting menu of Scottish seafood, each dish paired with a craft beer.
Scottish Seafood – Street Food Style
Scotland is world-renowned for its fantastic seafood. As well as classics like fish and chips and smoked salmon, Scotland’s seafood also lends itself well to more unusual, experimental dishes. The menu at the Seafood From Scotland dinner had a street food theme, with influences from across the world. It was nice to try traditional kinds of fish in a completely new way, thanks to the menu created by Glasgow chef Andrew Cumming.
The first course was a Mexican-inspired dish of blackened hake tacos with kale slaw and jalapeño salsa. It was lovely and fresh with just a wee spicy kick, which was cooled down perfectly with the Black Isle Anything Gose beer pairing. The beer had a citrusy tang with a hint of coriander, so it was ideal with the flavours of the crunchy tacos. I think this was the first time I had tried hake, but it certainly won’t be the last!
Next up was one of the most iconic (and delicious!) kinds of Scottish seafood: langoustine. This time, the langoustine tails were served in classic fish and chip shop style, beer battered with crispy fries and tangy tartare sauce. The tails were succulent and flavoursome, offering a slightly more refined version of the scampi suppers I used to love as a child. This course was washed down with some Loch Lomond Southern Summit which has lemon flavours – a classic accompaniment for fish and chips!
On to the next course, and we sipped some Skeleton Blues from Stewart Brewing along with New York style lobster rolls. The sweet brioche buns were delicious with the chunks of lobster meat, slathered in mayonnaise and chives. This was another beer with a fruity finish (I guess that must be what to look for when pairing up beer and seafood!), with tropical fruit, orange and herbal notes. This course definitely made me wish I was sitting on the beach in the American sunshine, rather than in rainy Glasgow!
For the last savoury course, we tucked into tandoori spiced mackerel wraps with marinated cucumber and onion salad. Mackerel is one of my favourite kinds of fish, but I’ve never had it served like this. The Indian flavours worked really well with the mackerel, making a nice change from more traditional ways of serving this kind of fish. Along with it we had some Drygate Disco Forklift Truck, which I think was my favourite beer of the evening. This pale ale had strong mango flavours with a sweet and citrusy finish.
Finally, it was time for dessert and we enjoyed some vanilla waffles with marinated Scottish berries and ricotta cream, along with a bottle of WEST Heidi-Weiss, a Bavarian style wheat beer. It was the perfect end to a delicious meal, and we left very full and just a little bit tipsy.
You can follow Seafood From Scotland on Facebook and Twitter for lots more inspiration on how to make the most of Scotland’s wonderful seafood. I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for hake next time I’m at the farmers’ market to try and recreate those tacos!