Speciality beers is a growing sector and now Kinloch Lodge on the Isle of Skye, owned by bestselling cookery writer Claire Macdonald, is championing the offer of ‘beer flights’ on its recently Michelin-Starred menu.
Sixteen beers have been selected for the list, and fifteen of these are from Scotland.
Tom Eveling, who manages Kinloch Lodge with his wife Isabella, selected the beers so as to offer guests a wide and gastronomically appealing list. It is one of the most extensive bottled beer lists of any restaurant in Scotland.
The beer flights have been matched to every dish on the menu and sit alongside the restaurant’s established wine flights, malt whisky flights and the ‘beer and a dram chasers’.
The Scottish beers include examples from the islands of Skye, Black Isle, Orkney and Arran whilst the Scottish mainland is represented by Edinburgh, Alva, Alloa and Fraserburgh: All manner of colours and styles of beer are on the list with ingredients as exotic as heather, seaweed and raspberries – historic beer ingredients popular in Britain before the arrival of hops in the 1500s.
Sam Smiths raspberry beer from Yorkshire is the only English beer.
Tom Eveling comments:
“Choosing the best flights to match each dish has been a real eye-opener. People still seem to think that wine is smart and wonderful with food and that, for some unknown reason, beers are not. They are wrong. The reaction from our diners has been very positive. Several have expressed both surprise and delight at the pairings, and there has been genuine interest in trying the new experiences which our beer flights offer.
“Scotland now brews a myriad of fantastic beers. I believe we should be proud of what we brew and match it to all our wonderful Scottish food. It would have been a real oversight not to offer this choice on our menu.
“My current favourite pairing is the Innis & Gunn Blonde, an oak aged beer from Edinburgh, with our ‘Fruits from the Loch’ dish; while my wife Isabella loves our cheese course – Strathdon Blue, with prune and orange mousse, Perthshire honey jellies and savoury cinnamon syrup matched with Ola dubh.
Tom is passionate about offering ‘flights’ to diners because he and Head Chef Marcello Tully believe this is the best way to match the tastes on the plate with those in the glass.
• Kinloch Lodge is in Sleat on the Isle of Skye: For further information about the hotel please visit the website at www.kinloch-lodge.co.uk or Isabella Macdonald 01471 833333.