Have a Hoppy Christmas with Zerodegrees

Zerodegrees is the perfect place to enjoy something different this Christmas. Boasting traditional food, adventurous options and some wildly exclusive brews, this restaurant and microbrewery boasts something for everyone. We caught up with Priya Desai, creative director at Zerodegrees, to discuss some of her favourite festive food and beer pairings and the lesser-known art of marrying festive flavours with freshly brewed beer.

zerodegrees ale and beer

What inspired this year’s festive menu at Zerodegrees?

Indulgence inspired us to create something truly memorable. Indulging without feeling guilty usually comes but once a year – around Christmas – so this year we wanted to make sure our dishes were luxurious but not overpowering. We’ve made sure that our Christmas offering reflects our passion for fresh, flavoursome food.

What’s your favourite festive food and beer pairing?

The Scotch Bonnet Carnita pizza with our refreshing mango beer – I like to keep things a little less conventional during the festive period. It’s packed with flavour and heat, and the slow-roasted pulled pork just melts in the mouth. The invigorating heat of chilli dances on the palate, reflecting the exciting time of year, but the most satisfying part for me is the cooling first sip of a cold, crisp and fresh glass of mango beer. For me, it’s the perfect pairing to balance and sweeten a spicy dish.

Have you discovered any unusual
Christmas food and beer pairings?

Pawel at Cardiff Zerodegrees came up with the idea of experimenting with Earl Grey tea and creating a beer with bergamot and a hint of caramel. It pairs brilliantly with our lamb pizza. This unusual combination of well-loved flavours has proven extremely popular.

Can we expect any special festive brews
from Zerodegrees this Christmas?

Expect festive brews at the start of the season and plenty of surprise limited brews throughout. When we enter the Christmas period, not only do the chefs get excited at the prospect of experiencing and creating new flavours, the brewers do too. We love to make sure we get a real variety of limited speciality beers, so we have brews made at each site and make sure they are available at each location.

try me with Hazy Days Wit Bier
This Belgian-style witbier boasts notes of orange, citrus and cloves. The wheat malt and wheat beer yeast provide the majority of its natural haze. We think this beer is perfect with our sumptuous breaded Camembert as it cuts through the creaminess and cleanses the palate.

try me with The Beast Black Lager
The Beast is best paired with strong flavours. This year’s Christmas turkey dish is stuffed with bacon-wrapped sausages and served with winter greens, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and lashings of rich gravy, which pairs perfectly with The Beast. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try matching it with a chocolate dessert to round things off?

try me with The Bohemian Czech Pilsner
The Bohemian is one of the reasons we started Zerodegrees in the first place – we wanted to create the best Pilsner outside of Pilzen itself. This easy-going lager is the perfect accompaniment to imam bayildi. This stuffed aubergine dish is packed with a flavoursome veggie ragu and sliced potatoes. It’s slow-roasted in our wood-burning oven and topped with fresh rocket and roasted pine nuts.

try me with Downtown American Pale Ale
Back in 1999, we tried some really great beers on the West Coast of America and we were inspired to create the first American pale ale in the UK, and it’s still one of our favourites. This Christmas we created a big, bold lamb dish to complement Downtown’s robust profile: slow-braised leg of lamb cooked with delicious Christmas spices, apricots, onions, root ginger, carrots, garlic and almonds.

Reading: 9 Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LR t: 0118 959 7959
Bristol: 53 Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 5BA t: 0117 925 2706
w: www.zerodegrees.co.uk

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