But fresh sausages would work well! And he would make them the centre of a beer-themed supper club. So Iain went off to develop some recipes and came up with an impressive-looking menu.
French onion and pale ale soup with Gruyere crouton | WEST beer battered monkfish cheeks with minty mushy peas and tartare sauce | chicken liver pate with beer sourdough toast
Free-range chicken in a brick cooked with Jarl ale | Trio of sausages (pork, amber ale and honey; beef, stout and mustard; venison, cranberry and fruit beer)
both served with creamy mash potato | Risotto of wild mushrooms and dark ale
Sticky Stag pudding with beer butterscotch sauce | Chocolate stout cake with hot chocolate beer sauce | both served with ice cream
Worthington Celebration Shield, an 8% special, made a good aperitif. It was somewhat lively and took some cajoling into our glasses (there have been reports of bottles exploding), with some of it ending up on the table top. It’s lovely and quite different to anything I've had before: strong, but dry and minerally as a Pale Ale should be with no syrupiness. There is a slight alcohol note, but pleasantly reminiscent of grappa.
A good match for posh fish and mushy peas. Peas tasting deliciously fresh and the tartare sauce so redolent of dill that they almost overshadow the succulent fish in light batter.
One of us had to forego the sausages and try chicken in Jarl. It was really good. I had feared Jarl would be too bitter to make a nice sauce, but the sauce was deliciously light with a hint of fruitiness.
It would be somewhat snobbish to say that Iain is wasted cooking in a café, so instead I’ll say the cooking was as good as I’d expect anywhere. Now I'm going to steal the chocolate cake recipe and try it with an imperial stout.