Good food and St. Valentine’s Day are almost synonymous – the next question is, of course, deciding which drinks complement particular aphrodisiac foods. A quick survey of the Mescan range reveals that the artisan Belgian-style beers are an excellent match for many of them. The Lovers Warning on every Mescan beer bottle is of course tongue-in-cheek, but adds an additional saucy Valentine flavour. (The Lovers Warning reads: “Our beer adds to the desire but may take away from the performance".)
Aphrodisiac foods and matching Mescan beers
Pistachios A salty, finger-licking dish of pistachios makes a delicious appetiser accompanied by the nutty caramel tones of Mescan Red Tripel, thirst-quenching Mescan Seven Virtues Lager or creamy, smooth Mescan Extra. The choice is yours.
Chocolate Surely one of everyone’s favourites, chocolate features on almost every Valentine’s menu. Mescan Special Reserve pairs beautifully with good, bitter chocolate while Mescan Baltic Porter with its dark chocolate aromas is ideal with chocolate tart and desserts.
Oysters Probably the most famed aphrodisiac, the saline shellfish is a lovely match for Mescan Baltic Porter. Both Mescan Blond and Mescan Saison complement mussels exceptionally well.
Staying on the marine theme, perfect pink salmon goes like a dream with creamy, rich Mescan Extra. A starter of smoked salmon with traditional brown bread matches Mescan Baltic Porter well.
Avocados and Asparagus The clean, crisp flavour of Mescan Blond combines like a dream with salads and veg. It’s very low alcohol at 4.8% compared to wines and like all Mescan beers is made without the use of finings or chemicals.
Spicy Chili Peppers Perhaps a surprising aphrodisiac, chili peppers match the spicy notes from the yeast in Mescan Saison exceptionally well.
Figs The subtle sweetness of figs calls for Mescan Special Reserve, evocative of malty, sun-dried fruits.
Passion Fruit OK, not strictly an aphrodisiac but included because of the name. Mescan Extra is a great pairing for fruits and desserts, especially creamy ones.
Cheese isn’t a food which springs to mind when thinking of aphrodisiacs, however it is a fact that some cheese contains the same chemicals (phenylethylamine) as chocolate, so the smell of them increases levels of dopamine in the brain. Most Mescan beers pair well with cheeses, Red Tripel is probably the most versatile and a good match for nearly all cheese. For blues and the stronger tasting ones, Mescan Special, Mescan Seven Virtues Carnal Knowledge and Mescan Baltic Porter are also excellent pairings.
Mescan beer takes its name from the monk Mescan who was St. Patrick’s friend and personal brewer. The stylised Mescan logo is a simple, creative representation of Croagh Patrick and the curved swirl represents the water flowing from the holy mountain, which is used to make all the Mescan beers, via a spring well beside the brewery.
Mescan Beers are currently available in off licences around the country. They are also available directly through the website www.mescanbrewery.com which also has food pairing notes for the beers.