It's national burger week. The fact that someone had to tell us that and we don't have it etched into memory is appalling. We've given each other dead arms and it will not happen again.
By way of recompense we present you with the 5 best beers to eat with a burger. Rod Jones, Head Brewer at The Old Brewery, Greenwich suggests that the finest beer to enjoy with a cheeseburger has to be a pale ale. They have the bitterness of the hops allowing them to stand up to the big flavours of a great cheeseburger, but at the same time, they deliver citrus and floral notes that will leave your palate cleansed and ready for serious flavour. These are his recommendations for the perfect match for your burger (from left to right):
Brewdog 77 Lager, Brewdog
Undoubtedly a lager, but nevertheless one with bite (as is appropriate given its brewer’s name). Don’t be fooled, there’s just enough complexity there to mean that it will stand up to the biggest of burgers. There's a crisp, light feel in the mouth, but on the palate it’s malty with a sweet toffee flavour. There are all the classic flavours: grassiness and citrus. And it will leave you with an uncharacteristic mouthful of hop bitterness on the finish: perfect for a cheeseburger.
London Pale Ale, Meantime Brewing Company
Meantime London Pale Ale has bags of complex citrus aroma and a bitterness that makes the style so refreshing. Together they conspire to assail the nose with a complex, heady mix of spearmint, grass and “hop sack” aromas, fruity citrus flavours and a bitter finish. Pale Ale is a perfect beer for foods that have a bit of bite, like mature cheese or a bitter-leaf salad, and have a bit of body that you get from great-flavoured beef.
Hophead, Dark Star Brewing
An extremely clean-drinking pale golden ale with a strong floral aroma and elderflower notes from the Cascade hops. This beer is full-bodied and full-flavoured yet gentle enough to make it a favourite session beer. Again, it’s the combination of citrus and floral notes that can stand up to the big flavours of pickle and relish and the bitterness that delivers the refreshing lift you want from your drink when you’re eating a big beefy burger, cheese and fries.
Jaipur India Pale Ale, Thornbridge Brewing
Jaipur IPA has been described as having a peaches-and-cream malt aroma. But at the same time, there are all the typical classic IPA marks of grassy, floral hop. This beer is intensely bitter in the mouth and delivers big, juicy malt and ripe grapefruit flavours which will cut through the meat and cheese flavours and leave a refreshing taste.
Timothy Taylor’s Landlord Strong Pale Ale, Timothy Taylor
This has a deep golden colour but delivers a thick, creamy, pillowy head that anyone who has tried this beer will be familiar with. The classic Pale Ale aromas are all there: freshness combined with bitter hoppiness. But it also has plenty of herbal notes and citrus fruit that sit comfortably alongside. Once again, it has those bitter flavours, minerals and dry, hoppy flavours. A friend to any burger of note.