So you are hanging around Tokyo Station and feeling a bit peckish before your train leaves or your friends are late; why not head over to Craft Beer Bar Ibrew for a little food? You might have seen the pairing video of the Taihei guys (a drugged out looking Mr. Bean and a monotone Canadian), but no need to, this article is a summary of the food paired on that video but with more detail and written 100% sober.
The three dishes that were highlighted on that video were the fish and chips with a Japanese twist, Japanese karaage and their jerk chicken (which wasn’t on video because the Taihei guys forgot to order it).
Ibrew’s fish and chips changes fish depending on the season and it is always different week by week. The staff tends to lean towards a light and fluffy white fish or even river fish, unlike in the UK, where they mainly use cod and haddock. When ordering Ibrew’s fish and chips, go with a lager to target the delicate flavor.
As for their Japanese karaage, you have three sauces to choose from: ginger, buffalo, and a salty green onion sauce. Okay folks, with three sauces to choose from, you have plenty of options. If you go with the ginger sauce, go with a Brown Ale or an English IPA. Brown Ales are versatile when it comes to pairing. As an English IPA has a balance of malt and hops for a more reasonable flavor, unlike its rebellious American IPA cousin. English IPAs provide earthy, floral notes to pair with the karaage nicely.
Now you are wondering why your friend is crying with their IPA about the heat of Ibrew’s jerk chicken? Well let’s move into what we call “the law of spices”. Firstly, spice isn’t a taste but more of a mouthfeel. It’s a type of “Danger, Will Robinson” to the brain. A chemical from chili peppers (capsaicin) or in ginger (gingerol) irritates the receptors on the tongue and tells your brain that something is dangerous in your mouth. High ABV can trigger the same pain receptors as capsaicin does and hoppy beers like IPAs, amplifies the spiciness from both high alpha acid and high capsaicin levels working together to make you feel that burning sensation.
Now, that the science is out of the way, it boils down to your preference of how much heat you want to feel. If you want to scale back the heat, go for a lager while mocking how weak your friend is. Now you know the trick of “the law of spices” and knowing is half the bottle.
Please tell us what you think of Ibrew by writing a review; Taihei wants you to have the power.