I love German cuisine, especially in winter, but perhaps especially so when it is accompanied with a good German beverage to wash it down. Luckily the Bavarian Bier Cafe provided the perfect place to sample both. This month the Bavarian Bier Cafe are showcasing Bavarian beers over the next few weeks in an event they have titled the “Pure Bier Fest”. The event pays tribute to the Beer Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot) from 1516, which limits the ingredients of beer, to water, hops, barley and malt (with the addition of yeast after its discovery).
The Bavarian Bier Cafe have a number of different events between May 9 and June 5 promoting their “Pure Bier” with mini bier academies, tastings (Pure Bier flight), and beer matched menus (Bier and Bites). So my partner and I headed to the Bavarian Bier Cafe in York St, Sydney, where we ended up participating in all three by taking the Pure Bier flight with beer professor Dominc Dighton, then progressing through to dinner with matching beers.
After being seated, we ordered our our Bier Flight, consisting of a good cross section of beers with Stiegl, Paulaner, and Franziskaner Weissbeer, and started our tasting. Dighton, the “Professor”, advocated that beer should be appreciated similarly to wine as there are differences between each beer the same as there are in wine. Dighton explained the diversity of beer in its colour, clarity, and flavour profiles using the same basic ingredients, and showed how different types of hops, yeasts and fermentation lengths all contribute to the differences experienced in every beer.
With such an extensive knowledge base it is no wonder that Dighton paired all the beers with the dishes on the ‘Bier and Bites’ menu for the Pure Bier Fest. Dighton advised how he selected the beers similarly as you would for a wine, with a table of beer set out in front of him while he sampled to work out the best compliment to every dish.
My partner and I decided to share our meals off the Bier and Bites Menu. We ordered the Chicken Liver Pate and Port wine Aspic Pate served with crisp pretzel chips and the Sauteed Mushroom, Speck and Butter Lettuce Salad for entrees with Beef Cheeks and Lamb Shanks for the mains.
Both entrees were delicious, the pairing with the beer was magnificient and more importantly the food was light and delicious. As far as I am concerned any dish containing Speck is a winner to me, a staple in any German dish, and the Pate was divine, of which I will definitely be returning to have another sampling.
Next we moved onto our mains, both came in large portions as is the case for most Bavarian meals, the Beef Cheeks were slow cooked in Steigl Bier and served in a rich root vegetable sauce with red cabbage and Sebago mash. The Beef Cheeks were served tender and melted in your mouth. The richness of the beef and the sauce was perfectly paired with the acidity of the red cabbage.
Our other dish, the Lamb Shanks were slow-cooked in Lowenbrau Bier gravy and served with Sebago mash and green beans. The Lamb Shanks were as tender as the Beef Cheeks, and came off the bone incredibly easily. The gravy was delicous, with the hint of Lowenbrau coming through without being too overpowering. Both beers were paired perfectly with their dishes, and I am glad I chose the matched beer as it is not a beer I would have chosen myself.
After a brief break from our hefty portions we moved onto desserts, Apple tart and Apple Strudel, which were both paired with the Paulaner Salvator Doppel Bock (an 8% specialty beer imported once a year). Both desserts were amazing with sweet apples paired with the creaminess of both the cream and ice cream that are served with each dish, but an outstanding highlight is the Paulaner Salvator, which was first created in 1634 by Italian St Pauline monks, with its flavours of raisans and currants which has an added viscosity and sweetness due to its lengthier fermentation process and the use of a different yeast.
For anyone wanting to learn more about beer, or whether you just want to sample a few items of the menu, I highly recommend dropping in to one of the Bavarian Bier Cafe’s locations before June 5 to sample the Bock beers that are available for a limited time only, or join in one of the many events on offer this month.
Natalie Manning was a guest of Bavarian Bier Cafe.
Bavarian Bier Cafe
24 York St, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
+61 2 8297 4111