Namibian Camelthorn beer impresses even the FrenchBy: ADAM HARTMAN at WALVIS BAY
IT’S not uncommon to hear of food and wine ‘pairing’ occasions, but when it comes to food and beer pairing, eyebrows begin to lift; after all “beer is beer”, right?
“Who wants to pair beer with food?” asked a skeptical ‘pure beer-loving’ Dutchman at a recent ‘Brewmaster Dinner’ at the French Restaurant Lyon des Sables at Walvis Bay, where Camelthorn Brewing Company founder Jörg Finkeldey introduced a variety of Camelthorn’s ‘craft’ beers. The event was attended by invited guests – and a group of French tourists, who happened to arrive at the occasion “by accident” (their table was actually booked for the following evening).
Be that as it may, they enjoyed first-class dishes from 2010 Namibian Chef of the Year, David Thomas, which included a five-course meal with teaser portions that included Schwartzbier quiche with Camelthorn Weissbier caviar; Oysters with ginger, orange and Camelthorn Fresh beer; duck and rabbit terrine with Camelthorn Helles beer jelly; roasted hake loin and Camelthorn Weissbier cream; grilled warthog loin with Camelthorn Red Ale gravy; and monk cream and spongy biscuit with Camelthorn Bokbier.
Thomas skilfully fused Camelthorn’s beers with the specific dishes to create an exotic taste, while Finkeldey explained to the attendants what the specific craft beer was and why it was good to drink with what food.
According to Finkeldey, craft beers are “unusual beer varieties” produced naturally with no additives or pasteurisation to prolong shelf life.
It was not long before skeptics had to admit that the beer-flavoured dishes – and the beer-filled shot glasses accompanying each dish “were actually quite nice”.
In fact, the French tour group quickly joined the party and praised both chef and brewmaster for a wonderful occasions with exceptionally good food – and beer.
Camelthorn Brewing Company is the first brewery to obtain a licence in close to a century of Namibia’s brewing history. It also became the first micro-brewery in Namibia, which officially opened its doors in August 2008.
“Our fresh approach to beer is a creative new lifestyle approach – craft beers are savoured and enjoyed by discerning beer drinkers. One will soon realise how the fusion of food and craft beer becomes a match made in heaven,” said Finkeldey.
Most of the attendants said “cheers” to that.