By Keith Bennett, Head Brewer at Otter Brewery (www.otterbrewery.com)

“As summer approaches and pub gardens start filling up, the need for classic staples with a jazzy twist are becoming more prevalent. Whilst food and wine pairings are notoriously known to be more for ‘date nights’, there is a new contender on the block…food and beer pairings, made to be enjoyed whilst chilling with friends and family in the warm summer months!

Otter Brewery has a wide selection of beers and lagers which make excellent companions to well-loved barbeque classics which would be perfect to enjoy on a warm terrace or out in the pub garden. Head Brewer at Otter Brewery, Keith Bennett, offers up his fresh and tasty ideas which are sure to be a crowd pleaser!

• Thai Cuisine – If Thai or Asian cuisine is on the menu then Otter Bright is the ideal companion. With tasting notes of lemongrass and soft fruit, this beer instantly gives Thai vibes! The light-oriental spices will pair perfectly with the notes of lemon grass and complement the peachy hop aroma that comes from the beer. At only 4.3% this is the perfect choice of drink to start your session off with!

• Steak – The first thing that comes to mind when customers think of steak is… Otter Bitter and Otter Ale! Give this classic dish a summer make over by putting a cote-de-boeufe on the barbeque. By marinating the cut of beef in warm spices such as garlic, paprika, salt and pepper, it pairs wonderfully with the fruity and spicy notes in the classic beers. No need to complicate it any more than that! This makes for the ultimate sharing platter, serve with some thin cut fries, and chargrilled veggies, customers will definitely be coming back for more!

• Delicious Desserts – Otter Head has notes of warm sherry! Once that sun has just disappeared and customers are wanting to tuck into a pud, why not try pairing Otter Head with some classic smores! Yes, that’s right beer and chocolate! The notes of sweet marshmallow and crisp dark chocolate pairs wonderfully with the warm notes of Otter Head.

• Pub Classics – light and refreshing, the Hawthorn Pale Ale is the perfect drink to serve up to a classic burger. A chargrilled patty, stacked between a strong cheddar and some smoky bacon, Hawthorne ensures to be the ultimate accompaniment. Furthermore, customers can enjoy this pint whilst knowing that they are helping Devon Wildlife Trust, as for every brewer’s barrel sold, Otter will plant a tree!

• Summer Salads – Tarka Four is the ultimate session lager which is perfect for these warm summer months. Sitting at 4% and hosting a clean, crisp flavour it will keep thirsts quenched and conversations flowing. With a subtle taste of citrus, this lager is perfect with barbequed tiger prawns dowsed in fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper! Added into a fresh crunchy salad or served with chargrilled Mediterranean vegetables and fruity couscous, this makes for a delicious lunch or early supper. Alternatively, pair with some fresh seabass, simply grilled with some lemon, thyme, salt and pepper.

• Mediterranean Cuisine – Tarka Pure has notes of lemon and herb which gives the perfect excuse to sling some lemon and herb chicken skewers on the barbeque. This is an all time classic and a real crowd pleaser! Served on the skewers to be dipped in some cooling, minty tzatziki, they are the winning choice of sharing snack… just make sure there is enough Tarka Pure available!”

Established in 1990, Otter Brewery began brewing its beer from a stunning location in the heart of Devon’s Blackdown Hills. Their beer and lagers are a necessity in any pub or bar this summer, and through doing so will be involved in their Pints mean Trees initiative. Through this, for every brewer’s barrel sold, Otter will plant a tree in Devon. The brewery has already successfully planted over two-thousand mixed leaf saplings and they are set to plant another forty-thousand in the next five years. So, get that barbeque lit, pour those pints and plant some trees.