Planning a Dinner Party - One Beer at a Time


So you’ve got people coming round for dinner this weekend, but you don’t know what to cook. You do know what you want to drink though by golly – you’ve been planning that one a while.

1. Pirate Life Throwback 3.5% + 4 Pines American Amber Ale 5.1%


Eat: Eat whatever you like… Toasted Turkish bread with evoo and balsamic, or a cheese board. Whatever floats your boat

Listen: Mystikal, Bouncin’ Back (Bumpin’ Me Against The Wall)

Just ease into the night… there’s no need to rush. And a little early 2000’s hip-hop never hurt anyone either.

2. Hop Nation Market NEIPA VS Hop Nation Jedi Juice NEIPA


Eat: Turkish Gozleme with Spiced Lamb

Listen: The Doors, The Very Best of

The talk of the craft beer world at the moment – Hop Nation are from Melbourne. A little comparison never hurt anyone…. we’re looking at these two bad boys side by side – and we’re teaming them with Gozleme filled with Turkish spiced lamb and a squeeze of fresh lemon. These beers are big, juicy, balanced and spicy (notes of coriander, chilli, Vietnamese mint and mango) – with the Market NEIPA bringing the spice and the Jedi Juice bringing the fruit forward. they can handle the plethora of flavours in the food. Gozleme-up-baby. Check out an epic Gozleme recipe here.

3. Chimay Bleue (Grande Reserve) 9% VS Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout 10.2%

Eat: Coffee-rubbed rib-eye with Narwhal stout jus

Listen: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

To compare a well-known and highly regarded American craft brewer, with an ancient Trappist beer could be sacrilege for the purists, but it’s too much of an interesting angle to ignore. The Narwhal is a beast. It pours oily black in the glass, and is a dark rumbling of roasted coffee, cacao, prunes, dates, figs, plums, and cedar shavings... it has coal and shadows and should be drunk while listening to Nick Cave and (his very) Bad Seeds. By comparison, the Chimay Blue is a structured and flavour-full beer. Certainly not for the faint-hearted, it’s an intimidating 9% ABV. (the Narwhal is no shrinking violet either at 10.2%) but it wears the high alc well. Dark fruits, spice, malt and a rich mid colour brown on the pour. Described as “perversely good” on Ratebeer, and scoring 100 overall; could we ask for much more? This duo will be perfect for coffee rubbed steaks with stout glaze…


  • 1/2 cup medium grind of your favourite, fresh coffee (I used Twin Peaks!)
  • 1/2 cup black peppercorns, freshly cracked
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (plus 2 tablespoons for later)
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1/4 cup dried garlic
  • 11/2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 11/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 4 (1 1/2 to 2-inch) thick steaks (High quality, local meat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 475mls stout (Don’t mess around, get something good.  If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it! Ideally, use the Narwhal)
  • 2 tablespoons good quality butter, room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 230 degrees C.
  2. Combine coffee, peppercorns, 1/4 cup brown sugar, salt, garlic, cayenne pepper and paprika in a small bowl. Press firmly onto steaks. Let steaks rest, covered, for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Heat oil in a large fry pan until almost smoking.
  4. Add steaks and sear 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  5. Do not overcrowd the pan. Use 2 pans if you need.
  6. Remove steaks to a baking dish and finish cooking in the oven until they’re done how you like. Remove to a cutting board or platter and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  7. Meanwhile, bring stout to a simmer in a small saucepan and reduce by about 1/3.
  8. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. After steaks have rested, pour any juices from the cutting board into the sauce, and serve with steaks.
  9. Serve it with creamy mash potatoes, and some steamed green beans.

4. CANTILLON Rosé De Gambrinus 


Eat: Derwent Valley raspberry with white choc Connoisseur ice-cream, waffle, Lambic + fresh raspberry reduction

Listen: Placebo “Every you, Every Me”

LAMBIC (sorry we didn’t mean to yell) but we really care about this one. Ever wondered where the current Sour beer craze came from? Lambic beers. LAMBIC ALL THE WAY. The Lambic beers have been brewed this way since the late 1700’s. Yep. And this is a no-brainer. Approach this as you would a bottle of Champagne – it’ll ease the shock when you see the price. Try LB Swanbourne, or North Fremantle.


  • 1 box Waffle cones
  • 1L tub Connoisseur Derwent Valley raspberry with white choc ice-cream
    (For the reduction:)
  • ½ cup CANTILLON Rosé De Gambrinus 
  • 1tbsp dark sugar (use whatever dark sugar you like – Rapadura, Muscovado etc)
  • Frozen raspberries – as many as you like – I’ve used 1 cup


  1. Into a sautee frypan, mix the rose de Gambrinus, dark sugar and raspberries. 
  2. Bring to a simmer and maintain, stirring/agitating constantly, until it reduces to about a third of the size.
  3. Have the Rose de Gambrinus on hand in case you need to periodically slosh more in.
  4. The raspberries will fall apart and the sugar will pull it all together until it is a hot, bubbling syrup with raspberry chunks.
  5. Load up the waffle cones with ice cream, and drizzle with the Lambic reduction

You’re welcome.

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