Sunday 13 September 2009

FAB POW! Spaghetti Bolognese and Rochefort 8

Sometimes food pairings come as an unprepared surprise. This was one of them times. I was at Pete’s house, I’d gone there to open a few beers. We’ve got Spag Bol for dinner, he told me. We’d had a few beers by the time we sat down to eat and we were just finishing a nice, fruity-bitter pale ale. What beer shall we have next then? was the question. There were about seven beers to choose from, one was Rochefort 8. Now Spaghetti Bolognese is something that I love and I eat it a couple of times a month. The thing with pairing a beer to an ‘everyday’ kind of meal is that it’s taken a little for granted, but the beauty is that a great pairing can really make a humble meal into something fantastic. That’s what the Rochefort 8 did. It’s a classic beer, absolutely cracking. It’s dried fruit sweet, smooth and rich, chocolatey, toasty and earthy and wonderfully drinkable for its 9.2%ABV. And it just works perfectly with Spag Bol. We poured the beer out, had a few mouthfuls of food, took a sip of the beer and then both looked at each other with one of those knowing smiles that said, you know what, that’s bloody good. I love finding these almost unexpected delights. We chose it because it was the only beer in the fridge which was remotely suitable to the dish. We chose it ‘just to see how it goes’. There was some knowledge that it could be a good pairing given the sweetness and the fresh bread quality in the beer, but it was one of those pleasant surprises. And as the beer itself is still one of those that I think of as being ‘special’, it transformed Spag Bol from a great dinner into a brilliant food and beer pairing. It’s totally worthy of this week’s FAB POW! Note: There isn’t a picture because I was too busy eating. But, to be honest, I think you all know what Spaghetti Bolognese looks like and I think you are all familiar with handsome tan Rochefort logo and that green eight. And I have paired Spaghetti Bolognese before, that time with Okell’s Aile, a smoky porter. That was a great pairing too, although it didn’t have the ‘special’ factor of the Rochefort 8.


  1. Shit! I knew there was something else I wanted to pick up while in Amsterdam, a few bloody Rocheforts. It's one of those beers I keep meaning to try, but never seem to get the chance, or I forget.

  2. You gotta get them, the 8 and 10 are both super beers. Can't wait to see how they stand up to Westvleteren, etc, in a Trappist taste-off that I've got planned.

  3. Thanks for the tip, it was quite all right and we all had a jolly good time and all that. In my opinion the Rochefort's dark fruit and caramel taste doesn't match the tomatoes acidity. Next time around I will try a more sour beer to better match the tomatoes. Maybe even try a hoppy IPA to see how that turns out.

    Beergeeks, Norway