I don’t know if many people know Beastro.. it’s a small restaurant based in Spinningfields in Manchester. It does absolutely brilliant brunches and the team behind it are so passionate about their food. As part of Manchester Beer Week they did a night called ‘Beastro Meats the Brewers’ where local brewers would discuss their beers while we ate a meal that was designed to compliment them. There weren’t any printed menus, so each course was described by the Beastro team, so I may miss some of the finer details.
Five courses paired with five beers? What could possibly go wrong?
Sharing platter paired with Shindigger Aliya
There some really fancy sausage swirls, meaty deliciousness wrapped in flaky pastry and served with a dipping sauce that reminded me of a fancy fruity chutney. A bowl of malted popcorn. Amazingly crisp shards of pork crackling. The star of the show for me was the bacon jam which was really delicious. There might have been a certain amount of looking daggers at our dining companions if they took too much of it!
The Shindigger Aliya was citrussy enough to cut through the meatiness of the sharing platter. A cloudy, yellow ale with a juicy mouth feel. It was introduced by one of the brewers, Paul, who described his path from home brewer at university to running a micro-brewery.
Venison Carpaccio and Venison Bon-Bon with Alphabet Hoi Polloi
Next up was a venison spectacular on a plate. The venison carpaccio was melt in the mouth delicate, and the venison bon bon was a much more sturdy flavour explosion. There was a swirl of hazelnut sauce and an olive (maybe – this is what I think he said) swirl. I loved the hazelnut, but wasn’t so sure about the olive.
Hoi Polloi was a very traditional Pilsner. Light and refreshing it was a contrast to the venison flavours. Beastro team mentioned another beer from Alphabet called Flat White, I’ll definitely check that one out.
Pan fried scallop served on pickled cucumber with Thirst Class Ales – Farmhouse in your soul
Ok, I hate scallops! My dining companion however said it tasted wonderful.
The beer was a farmhouse style saison. It was introduced by Richard from Thirst Class who is brewer, manager and bottle washer all in one man. On the nose I got the smell of the horse feed shed at the stables (grassy, animal feed, fermentation). On the palate I got a hint of spicyness, maybe coriander?
Beer braised Ox Cheek, Mushrooms, black garlic emulsion and buttered greens. Served with Hawkshead Tiramisu Imperial Stout
Possibly my favourite course. The braised ox cheek was marvelous, just splitting apart at the lightest pressure. The gravy was slightly salty, but this provided great balance to the sweetness of the companion beer. I didn’t eat the mushrooms (a picky eater like me really shouldn’t do tasting menus) but once again my companion assured me they were delicious.
The Tiramisu Stout was as black as the soul of hell, with a very slight tan head. On the nose it was dark roast coffee, sweet in them mouth as you tasted it, and then finishing with a dry cocoa powder flavour. I didn’t expect such a sweet stout to work with such a savoury dish, but together they were great.
Lemon Tart with Pine Nut Ice Cream paired with Blackjack Why Me
Oh gosh I could have eaten 3 plates of this. The lemon was wonderfully lemony, tart without being tooth curling. I wouldn’t have put pine nuts with a lemon tart, but I guess knowing what works and being willing to try new things is why these guys are chefs!
The Blackjack beer was very pale straw in colour and poured quite frothy. I guess the name is a pun on the Waimea hops used to brew it (I missed the talk from the brewer). To me the hops were citrussy and had a hint of the floral gums that I used to buy at the sweet shop. Dry finish.
It was a great night, I ate some nice food, drank some great beers. I think the portion sizes were perfect, with the bottles/cans of beer being split between 2 people. I’ll definitely look out for other ‘Beastro Meats’ events as they said there plans to do the events regularly, and not just a Manchester Beer Week.