Fire was Fought with Beer and Fire Fought Back
The concept of Fight Fire With Beer is as simple as it sounds, we commit arson on the dinner table and recruit a brewery to try and extinguish the flames with their most refreshing brews. For our second event we turned to South African brewers And Union to see if we could match their beers with the heat of Nando’s PERi-PERi. Let’s start by saying a massive thank you to both And Union and Nando’s for going above and beyond our expectations for the night by treating all of us like “Arabian Princes”.
You can read up on the back-story of both companies by following these links – and trust us they a worth the read. You can also learn more about each individual product.
The evening kicked off with a sneaky tasting of a “not so surprisingly” tasty alcohol-free wheat beer before diving into some serious beer tasting, food, and spice. The tasting matches were not previously designed, so it was a surprise to everyone – including our team – how well everything paired up. (although to be fair any combination of everything experienced that night would have done the job.)
Here are the beer to sauce pairings we tried to keep up with as the beer flowed, chicken wings, PERi-PERi-, and even a miniature vegetarian buffet flew out of the kitchen.
1. And Union: Summer Nando’s: Lemon and Herb
Like putting a slice of lemon into a wheat beer. The traditional hearty flavor of the style was complimented by the freshness of the PERi-PERi. I want both of these with all of my food all the time!
2. And Union: UNFLT Lager Nando’s: Mild Peri-Peri
The scoville meter was just slightly picked up and the clean lager acted as a beautiful palate cleanser for both taste and heat n between bites.
3. And Union: NEU BLACK Nando’s: Medium Heat
The slightly more malty profile of the dark lager definitely calmed the temperature of the medium chilies. Like putting your spicy chicken in a pita.
4. And Union: BEAST of the DEEP Nando’s: Hot Peri-Peri and Extra Hot!!!
This Heller Bock style fortunately had enough sweetness to it as the heat was definitely turned on by the this time – and multiple guests had “dropped out” of the tasting choosing instead to keep enjoying their previous favorite.
Quick Note: Now would be a good time to state that what I believe Nando’s does best is retaining an immense amount of flavor as their PERi-PERi sauces get hotter. So many spicy foods exist purely for the burn. With Nando’s its burn without loosing flavor!
5. And Union: FRIDAY IPA, and SUNDAY Pale Ale Nando’s: ???
Nando’s gave everyone a sneak peek of two new PERi-PERi sauces they’re currently working on. They then asked the guests to vote for their favourite. That is all the information we know. I can say they were both delicious and unique in their own way and that I was happy to have an IPA on hand. Sometime big flavors just need more big flavors.
In a food coma stupor not sure if it was the beer or the heat that got to our heads, everyone left feeling like royalty with a brewery and a restaurant that will always remain a go to in our minds.
Thank you Nando's and Thank you And Union for an unforgettable evening.
Peace and Yeast,