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Michelin star chef sings praises of beer

Added: Saturday, December 8th 2012

Sriram Aylur, Executive Head chef at Michelin starred Quilon by Buckingham Palace, has put his head on the block for British beers. “We now serve 12 bottled British beers, in addition to 13 on our global beer list. And the British beers are selling very well.

“Our new British beer list includes four British lagers: the rich, spicy Ceilidh from Alloa in Scotland ; the aptly named Curious Brew lager from a top winery in Kent, brimming with citric hops; a soft Helles-style lager from Camden Brewery London; and a deliciously floral lager from the Cotswold Brewery in Bourton on the Water. In addition, we serve Chalky’s Bark ginger’d beer from Cornwall; Innis & Gunn Original oak aged beer from Edinburgh; and Meantime pale ale from Greenwich, London.

“Six Vintage Beers have also been listed including five Vintages beers from Fullers of Chiswick (1999, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010) and Vintage Stingo from Sam Smiths of Tadcaster in Yorkshire. These retail at £12-18 a bottle and parties arrive especially to share them and to sample them with our food. We aim to sell beer as much as possible in 33cl bottles as they are so much more elegant on the table; and that size is a great accompaniment to a course, allowing customers to choose another style of beer for the next.

 “Quilon’s beer list began to take shape in 2004. The whole idea of just offering one or two beers, or just beers with odd names, seemed ridiculous. We wanted a beer list which was fun and complemented the restaurant’s delicate south west coast Indian dishes. The advent of so many new beers also gave us the opportunity to match them with our menu; and as our regular customers started asking more questions as to which foods matched which beers, in 2009 Quilon launched a 5 course and an 8 course beer menu; and by 2011 a 5 course option, using just British beers.

“The shape of a glass and its thickness, weight and clarity are so important. So our Ceilidh lager from Alloa in Scotland  or our Curious Brew lager from Kent are served in Champagne flutes to channel their aromas to the nose;  the sweetly oaky Innis & Gunn from Edinburgh is served in a white wine glass; whilst Fullers Vintage Ales or the Belgian icon Duvel are served in brandy balloons in recognition of their strength; but it also helps customers in a subtle way to interpret how they should handle the beer and it benefits their aromatics too.”