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26 May 2015

taco tuesday with brixton brewery and wahaca

meep! you guys know how much i luhhhhve wahaca, right, and so naturally i follow them on twitter. last weekend i was casually scrolling through my twitter feed when i saw them tweet about an upcoming beer-pairing night the brixton restaurant was holding with the lads from brixton brewery, and when i checked it out and saw it was only a touch more than a tenner to match five craft beers over four courses of wahaca's finest tacos, well... i was keen.

except, it was the week-of payday, and i didn't have a tenner to my name. i was gutted, because i've been saying for ages now that i want to do a beer tasting course, because i legit know nothing about beer. when i'm at the pub, i'll get a pint of whatever's going. it all tastes the same to me. real beer lovers will be rolling their eyes at that statement, but that evidences the fact i needed learning. i tweeted them that in response to their ad, asking if they'd be holding another one ~after pay day.

their response? come on down, and bring a friend - it's on us! never one to refuse an offer of tacos, i grabbed my beer-blogging mate little shaun, and we headed to brixton for #tacotuesday.

we were a little late, but rolled in to a taster of the lupolo pale ale, and some tortilla chips and guacamole. not the worst way to enter the room! the lupolo is especially brewed for wahaca brixton, and can only be bought on-site or from the brewery itself, so it's a bit of a speciality for the brewers. it was so deliciously yum, and tasted a lot like a fruit beer - something i do know that i like!

mike from the brewery talked us through the brewery's history, and a bit about how to pair beer with foods. he says the main things to try and remember with pairing - any kind of drink to any kind of food really, are: cut, compliment,and contrast. so, in this case, where the food is salty or bitter (tortilla chips and guacamole), cut against this with a sweeter beer (the pale ale). so far, so good. learning is fun!

next up was the effra ale paired with the chicken tinga taco - a versatile amber ale to compliment the sweet and smoky taco dish. this beer i liked, but didn't find it as fruity as the lupulo, which was still definitely my favourite. as a side note, i'd never had the tinga taco before, and it was bloody delicious. i'll be having that again! as another side note, shaun had never been to wahaca before, and it's fair to say that he too, will definitely be back.

the next taco was my favourite of all the tacos ever; my number one wahaca food item, the life force behind my mexican obsession; pork pibil. this firy taco was contrasted by the bold and tropical, although definitely fuller-flavoured (i.e. more of a "beery after taste"), atlantic i.p.a. (india pale ale) named for the road that both wahaca and the brewery are on, this beer was (i think) shaun's favourite of the night. so far though, my favourites had come in the order they were served. this was number three!

the last serious dish - but one i didn't really enjoy, was the barbecoa beef tacos and the electric i.p.a. the chilli chipotle tacos were complimented by the sweet and floral pale ale, and although the food left me unsatisfied, the beer was a total redemption. slightly fruiter than the last, but still not as much as the lupulo, it was a refreshing and tropical, and very easy to drink. this was my second fave after the lupolu, for sure.

and then comes dessert. wahaca turned on some of their famous churros, and paired the deliciously crunchy doughnuts with the brewery's rich windrush stout. i am notttttt a stout drinker, at all, and that fact still remains. although it wasn't horrible, or as "chewy" as some other stouts, it was definitely a lot thicker and less "drinkable" (imo) than the other, lighter beers, and definitely my least favourite of the night. in discussing our likes and dislikes with mike and the others, we discovered that i like a "hoppy beer", as it's the added hops that give the fruity taste. noted for next time!

it was a really great opportunity though, the beer pairing, and probably a better way to do it - with food, rather than just beer tasting. i got to learn about what it is that i do and don't like about particular beers, what types of beers or ingredients to look for in the future, and definitely that i am never going to just "order a pint" again. a massive thank you to anna and the team at birxton wahaca, as well as mike from the brewery for having shaun and i over for dinner, and to learn a bit about their brilliant partnership!

this night is specific to the brixton restaurant only, but follow wahaca on twitter for updates about the next beer-pairing nights - maybe one will pop up in your area! i'd definitely recommend this if you're a beer newb like me.

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