Words by Tom Gardner, Tap Room Manager
Over the course of the summer, the Tap Room plays host to many of Bristol’s best food vendors. Tsukemono, purveyors of Japanese soul food, is one of our firm favourites. Having hosted them several times, we’ve gotten to know Adam and Iris at the helm, so when they told us about their winter residency at The Volunteer Tavern, we were keen to get together and create a beer to pair with their food.
The wide variety of styles and spectrum of flavours craft beer has to offer allows for limitless food pairings, bringing new levels of complexity. It’s something the team here at the brewery are passionate about and are often exploring new combinations.
Tsukemono translates to ‘pickled things’, so naturally they feature heavily on the menu alongside okonomiyaki, katsu curry, fried chicken and seitan. All big and bold flavours for our beer to contend with.
Food was eaten, beer drunk and we landed on a citrus Pale Ale. Iris joined us on the brew day, helping with dig out the mash tun and putting those culinary skills to use slicing oranges and toasting coriander seeds. Rice was used alongside barley and wheat to give a light, crispy body and low malt profile. Seville oranges and toasted coriander seeds were added for a citrus hit and freshness. Then we dry hopped with Comet and Loral, later adding orange blossom water to complete the citrus trifecta.
This all rounds up in a light, easy drinking Pale with enough citrus bitterness to cleanse the palette whilst being floral and fragrant to complement Tsukemono’s lighter, subtle flavours. Tanaka is available now at The Volunteer Tavern, and across the UK. We hope you enjoy it!