Vanguard Beer Collective

beer and food pairing

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Beer and Food Pairing: Blacks KPA and Salt Baked Fish

Welcome to our next beer and food collaboration with the very talented Chef and Food Stylist Jette Virdi. Last time Jette brought you a tasty steak salad creation that we paired with Bo Bristle’s Amber Ale.  Today we have a salt baked fish recipe for two paired with Blacks of Kinsale Pale Ale (KPA).

I promise this recipe is simpler than it looks and it is guaranteed to wow your date when you crack open the salt shell at the table.  Because the recipe brings the heat with a blend of chili and garlic we paired it with a the hoppy, but light, KPA from Blacks of Kinsale.  Besides, what better beer to have with fish than one from a fishing village ;-)

We found Blacks KPA to be delicious with this dish because it didn’t over power the delicateness of the fish yet it was bold enough to highlight its spicy and aromatic flavours.  The beer’s delicious tropical and citrus flavours from cascade and citra hops paired really nicely with the lime and fresh herbs in this recipe. But don’t take my word for it.  Try it out for yourself.  And do let us know how you get on!



2 whole fish unscaled but gutted. Preferable sea bass or rainbow trout

Salt…lots of it. Regular table salt or rock salt

4 chillies: 2 green, 2 red

2 garlic cloves

1 lime, cut into wheels

handful of parsley/coriander


Poppy Seed Slaw

¼ red cabbage, sliced finely

4 carrots, peeled and shredded

2 Tbsp natural yoghurt

juice of one lemon

1 tsp poppy seeds


Preheat oven to 180C.

Get the 2 green and 1 red chillies and pop into a blender with a bit of olive oil and garlic.  Whiz till a paste.  Generously spread the mixture around the cavity of the fish.  Then lay a few slices of lime, remaining red chili (halved) and the fresh herbs in the cavity of each fish.


In a bowl mix a large amount of salt with a couple of tablespoons of water.  You want a consistency of wet sand.  Add water little by little until you have the right consistency.


On a baking tray make a layer of the salt/water mix. Place the fish and its filling on this.  Then cover with salt and pack tightly.  You ideally don’t want to be able to see any part of the fish although if the tail is sticking out it’s no big deal.  Pop into the oven for 15-20mins.  Check by sticking a knife into the the flesh.  When taken out if it’s piping hot then the fish is cooked.


Whilst the fish is cooking, mix the veggies, yoghurt, lemon juice and poppy seeds together to make a slaw.


Remove fish from the oven and crack open the salt at the table. Peel the skin off and enjoy with a cold glass of Blacks KPA.  Cheers!


 Jette Virdi is a regular contributor to Easy Food Magazine and Image Magazine and is co-founder of The Workshop People, a one-stop-workshop for an evening of bespoke food, DIY, meeting new people, plus a couple beverages, all under one roof.  You can follow Jette@WoodandC or visit her website

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Beer and Food Pairing: Bo Bristle Amber Ale and Harissa Steak Salad

It’s Friday afternoon and the sun is shining so thought we would bring you little weekend meal inspiration with a yummy harissa steak salad recipe.

We paired up with the talented chef and food stylist Jette Virdi to create this simple light meal that tastes great with Bo Bristle’s Amber Ale.

The beer’s light roast malt flavour is pairs nicely with the caramelization of the steak while the spice from the harissa brings out the hops on the finish.  We found it to be a delicious union and we hope you do to!  Please feel free to share your comments below.


Harissa Steak Salad Recipe:

Serves 4 as small starter


1 large sirloin aged steak

Harissa paste ( bought or made yourself , see below)

250g baby leaf mixed salad

Juice of 1 lime

Salt and pepper


Spread a good amount of Harissa paste over both sides of steak and leave overnight.

Heat griddle pan.



Wash and drain salad, place in bowl and squeeze lime juice over, give it a good mix.



Once griddle pan is hot place steak and cook roughly 3 mins on each side depending how thick. This should give you medium cook.



Slice and lay over salad, season and serve with Bo Bristle Amber Ale. The perfect summer starter!


Harissa recipe:

3 garlic cloves

4 red chillies

Good glug of olive oil

Cumin seeds

Coriander seeda


Pop everything into a blender and whizz up well. Taste and adjust, may need salt and pepper,

Squeeze of lime. Will last in fridge for roughly a week.


Jette Virdi is a regular contributor to Easy Food Magazine and Image Magazine and is co-founder of The Workshop People, a one-stop-workshop for an evening of bespoke food, DIY, meeting new people, plus a couple beverages, all under one roof.  You can follow Jette @WoodandC or visit her website