Beer lovers across the world are in love with beer and food matching, at Fourpure we are no exception. We bloody love it. Beer has so many variations that it can lend to different the plethora of flavours in your meal; bitterness, sweetness, hop character, colour, carbonation etc etc.
What I find weird though is that nobody talks about music and beer matching even though I’m pretty sure a lot of us do it on some subconscious level. Let me explain…
For me, a beer is best shared. Don’t get me wrong I love going to a bottle shop on the way home and picking up a tasty treat to sit and drink on my front step as the sun goes down, but if I’m honest the beer seems to taste better when my pals are there to chat about it, or my girlfriend is there to listen as I try to explain why my Amber Ale is like the setting sun. OK maybe not, but if you are like me then I would imagine you like to put on some music while you spend time with your loved ones, even if the tunes just sit in the background and set the scene.
As we all know music can be incredibly varied and recently I’ve started to think about how these variations can lend themselves to different beer styles and change the drinking experience. I’ve been experimenting recently at home, trying out different genres with different beers and seeing what sits nicely. For example; I took home a 6 pack of (Fourpure) Shape Shifter last week to share with one of my muso friends who was coming over to play some tune tennis. The moment he arrived we cracked the cans and chucked the sound system on. We started low tempo and chucked on some easy soul music to kick us off but it just didn’t work alongside the cold ones we were sipping, the west coast hops in the Shape Shifter were so pronounced they seemed to drown out Al Green’s docile tones. After flicking through a couple of things of varying beats and genres we landed on a Fat Boy Slim record (We caught Glastonbury and I thought it time to dust it out and give it a re-listen) and, well, it just worked. Maybe it was the upbeat tempo, maybe it was the feel-good vibe but by god it was a match made in musical/beery heaven. The evenings activity had begun.
I then got a couple of Oatmeal Stouts out from the fridge ‘Come on then, what we got’ I said enthusiastically to pal. We had a think about it… rick, dark, thick, velvet…James Brown sprung to mind…nailed it. As you can imagine this game went on till the early hours. A fair few records got put on, a fair few cans went down. Here are a few of our findings (these are just mine, I urge you to try for yourself) … Amber Ales – Hip Hop and upbeat soul. American IPA’s – electronic music, anything with a guitar solo. Stouts and Porters – Smooth soul, Neil Young, Blue Note Jazz. Pilsner – Indie, not too intrusive guitar music. The list goes on.
This evening made me ponder on hops and trying to visualise them a bit rather than just tasting them. I’ve got a little theory going; hops like sound waves, BPM’s and frequencies. I know this seems a bit weird but hear me out with a couple of examples…UK Fuggles could be describes as full bodied, let’s call them medium tempo rich sound with more bass…Citra Hop is said to have punchy notes of grapefruit and citrus, let’s go for that as a faster tempo maybe with more treble and a little less bass. Are you following?
Since then it’s really made me notice what’s on the speakers when I go into a venue and thinking about what vibe the music is setting beer wise, on a couple of occasions I’ve chosen my tipple accordingly. I doubt we are going to see breweries hosting beer and music matching evenings anytime soon but it’s certainly something worth keeping in mind when you have got your friends over or at the local.