Our top tip for pairing food with Ghost Ship is to be adventurous. Just push the boat out - so to speak. Have fun, practice and discover what works for you.
There are a few things you can look for in any successful Ghost Ship pairing. Does your combo highlight favourable elements in both the beer and food? Does it awaken something in your senses, or start its own story? Finally, does something materialise that wasn’t there before you brought the two together?
One thing you must think about is the intensity of flavour. Each part needs to stand up to other and not frighten it away. Think about bitterness, sweetness, roasted characteristics, dominant ingredients and how your food has been prepared. If you are cooking on the campfire, don’t forget to take account of all those sauces on the table.
Remember the three Cs: complementary, contrasting, cutting. Look for similar flavours in your beer and food, like zesty flavours and the citrus notes in Ghost Ship’s Citra hops. Would those moreish biscuity hints marry with the sweeter elements of your dish? Could a lingering bitterness cool any flames or cleanse your palate between bites? Find the things you know will work and then start to spread your sails.
We tend to think of Ghost Ship as an American-style pale ale when it comes to food matching. And don’t forget, what works with Ghost Ship Pale Ale, will also work with Ghost Ship 0.5%.
“Alcohol has a perceived sweetness on the palate, so when we brew Ghost Ship 0.5%, we work to a slightly different recipe that addresses the balance of flavour between the hops and the malt. This reduces the bitterness, so they are perceived at the same level in both versions,” explained our head brewer, Dan, when we grilled him for some pairings.
“Thoughts immediately turn to classic partners like Fish & Chips, spicy food or a creamy Fish Pie. The citrus notes in Ghost Ship will cut through creamy or fatty food and refresh your palate when flavours start to feel warm.
“For topping your campfire burgers, caramelised red onions work really well at complementing the sweetness from the malt, and Ghost Ship’s bitterness would mellow and cut through blue cheese.
“Citrus flavours with fish and seafood are an easy win. Pop your fish on the grill and mix it up with the spice we suggested earlier. Try some barbecued trout or a Tikka Masala sauce. I’d go for Sea Bass wrapped in lemons and limes.
“When thinking about salads or sides, a Fennel & Orange Salad would be amazing. Those slightly floral, elderflower notes in Ghost Ship would pair with the floral notes in the fennel. A lemony vinegarette could also be great. Look for those citrus flavours again when thinking of desserts.”
So set up a roaring campfire within earshot of the sea, grab a Ghost Ship, and give it go. Don’t forget to share what you pair using #StuffOfLegend this summer.