The Beer Necessities

18th December 2018

The craft beer revolution has put ale firmly on the menu for foodies. So we asked Goodwood’s beer sommelier to pair the Estate’s brews with some favourite dishes from Farmer, Butcher, Chef.

Words by James Collard

  • Christmas

  • Goodwood Estate

  • Nature


There are some pairings of beer with food that we’re accustomed to: stout and oysters, lager with curry, a pint with a pie or a sandwich. Most of us, however, are more likely to associate serious food with a glass or two of wine. But increasingly, beer has its advocates: pale-ale partisans are urging us to take the business of pairing beer with food seriously. And the trend for teaming beer with fine dining is global, from Brooklyn’s Luksus, where a beer sommelier (or “cicerone” in American) helps hipsters select the perfect pint to go with their edgy Nordic cuisine, to Alyn Williams at the Westbury in the heart of Mayfair,
with its ambitious “beer list” (both are Michelin-starred, by the way).

The craft beer revolution has brought about an extraordinary diversity in flavour – let’s call it a beery new wave – of stouts and ales, IPAs and fruit lambics, all of which call for savouring rather than knocking back, with tasting notes we more readily associate with wine. “It’s about finding the right beer for you,” says beer sommelier Annabel Smith, sounding like the voice of reason in an ale-versus-wine debate, who has been tasked with coming up with the right beers to team with the bucolic flavours of the Farmer, Butcher, Chef restaurant at the Goodwood Hotel, which has both history and currency when it comes to beer. The first tasting notes for beer at Goodwood date back to the 1730s, while today, the Estate’s microbrewery (based at Hepworth & Co, in nearby Pullborough) uses hops and barley from Goodwood Home Farm in its beers – all of which are organic, naturally.


With Pork

Broadly speaking, Smith explains, when choosing beer to go with food, you use a similar rule of thumb to when choosing wine. Paler beers and lagers go well with seafood and chicken; but the darker the meat, the darker the beer. A hoppy beer cuts through and complements the fattiness of a rib-eye, for example. Goodwood’s new St. Simon Lager “has a distinctly bread-y flavour”, says Smith, which makes it a perfect beer to enjoy alongside ham and pork. Or rather a little bit of everything porky, from belly to tail, as in the pork “butcher’s board” (actually a blacksmith’s tray) – a sharing dish from Farmer, Butcher, Chef. The beer is named for St. Simon, the Thoroughbred that won the 1883 Goodwood Cup – and then, famously, wouldn’t stop running, long after crossing the finishing line.


Why not try the food for yourself at Farmer, Butcher, Chef?

Read more


With Cheese

Although the idea of having a beer with our Ploughman’s seems perfectly natural, perhaps the sight of a cheese board will have many of us reaching for a glass of red – or for the port. But beer and cheese brings out some of the most specific recommendations from Smith, who would suggest an IPA (Indian Pale Ale) with Goodwood’s cheddar-like Charlton cheese, a glass of lager with the softer, more brie-like Levin Down, and a stout or porter with Molecomb Blue. “Stout is delicious with any blue cheese.” And one beer that would work with the lot? Lucky Leap, Goodwood’s new American-style pale ale which,
“citrusy and hoppy”, works well across a cheese board. Also a good partner to Goodwood beef, Lucky Leap is named in honour of the American racer, Masten Gregory, aka “the Kansas City Flash”, who, on realising that his brakes had entirely failed, saved himself by jumping from the cockpit of his Tojeiro-Jaguar before it crashed during the 1959 TT, held at the Goodwood Circuit.


With Lamb

Pairing beer with food can either be about creating the right contrast, or finding something complementary. Goodwood’s Grogger Pale Ale is malty and aromatic and “really rather herby”, says Smith, with a quality that echoes and accentuates “any of the harder herbs”, such as rosemary. There’s a scientific explanation: “Rosemary is high in terpenes, which gives it its woody aroma – as are hops.” Which make it an ideal accompaniment to lamb dishes, such as this lamb shank, cooked overnight at
Goodwood, and wonderfully tender. This beer is named after Grogger, a boxer dog belonging to Mike Hawthorn, aka the Farnham Flyer, Britain’s first F1 champion. Grogger was renowned for sipping beer from Hawthorn’s glass, though presumably he didn’t bother to read the tasting notes.


Discover the full range of Goodwood Beers.

  • Christmas

  • Goodwood Estate

  • Nature

  • farmerbutcherchef-snug.jpg

    Stories from the Estate

    The Remix

  • mistletoe_hero.jpg

    Stories from the Estate

    Kiss and Tell

  • wreath.jpg

    Stories from the Estate

    Apple, Pear & Mincemeat Christmas Strudel