When it comes to pairing food with an alcoholic drink, many of us are going to think about which wine to pair it with. Red goes with steak, white goes with fish, and so on. However, there are different cuisine combinations and wine isn’t the only choice, especially given the huge range of beers now available.
In fact, at Purple Poppadom we once successfully paired a tasting menu with a different beer for each course, and people loved the range of complimentary flavours it created.
At Purple Poppadom, we never like to stand still, with food and drinks, and our ever-expanding line-up of wines, spirits, beers and now cocktails demonstrates this.
Our latest addition is the ‘champagne of Indian beers’, which has seen its place on many a dinner table: King Cobra beer. Here we take a look at its history and to just why it works so well with curry and other Indian cuisine meals.
The history of Cobra Beer
Like many products, Cobra Beer was made because the inventor identified a need. In particular, it was his own need.
Karan Bilimoria, a British-Indian business owner (who had experimented in other trades before) had been living in Britain since moving for his later education. While visiting local Indian restaurants, he would order a lager to have with his meals.
But he found them too full, too gassy, too filling and too bitter to go with the food. As such, he came up with the idea of a beer that would go fantastically with any good restaurant curry.
Cobra was made to offer the refreshment of lager, but while being as smooth as ale. A light, cool drink that would perfectly compliment the heat, aroma, and full flavours of Indian cuisine. It didn’t take long for it to take off, accelerating in sales growth for several years, and soon being sold in India, as well. Since then, roughly half of all licensed Indian restaurants in the UK sell Cobra Beer.
An Indian cuisine classic
Cobra has become the de-facto king of dinnertime beverages for adults when it comes to Indian cuisine. When having a curry, it has become second nature for many to order it, and for good reason. It’s brewed to be lighter and less gassy than British lagers, while still maintaining the crisp refreshing quality that so many love.
It has a malty, sweet taste, with just the right touch of sweetness. It can help to cut through and level out the aroma and heat of the curry. At the same time, it’s an easily overpowered taste, so
it’s easy to go back for another bite without feeling like the beer is clashing with the taste of your meal.
A good Cobra beer feels like it levels the playing field on your palate, offering a momentary refreshment but allowing you to savour your curry without any interruption, like turning your mouth into a blank palate again.
The apex Indian cuisine beer: King Cobra
With the exploding popularity of Cobra Beer, it didn’t take too long for the team behind it to start looking at other products that could expand the range. However, they never went too far into exploring a range of different and wacky flavours or the like.
There are only three variations on the original Cobra Premium: Cobra Premium, a smooth premium beer, the non-alcoholic Cobra Zero, and the champagne of Indian beers, King Cobra.
What is it that makes King Cobra so different? Well, the additional alcohol content (bumping it up to 7.5%) is going to have an effect.
However, it’s all truly down to the brewing process. King Cobra is a unique beer, double-fermented, using barley, malt, and hops specifically selected from Bavaria’s Hallertau region. Indeed, the beer is as much Bavarian as it is Indian, but the effect is the same and it’s style is pure Cobra Indian.
In our view few beers have the same kind of smooth mouthfeel when it comes to King Cobra, with a light sweetness to its malt notes that help it complement a wide range of dishes. It’s a versatile and light beer, much like the original, but it has a much finer taste thanks to the careful selection of ingredients, not to mention the increased alcohol content.
As the first double fermented lager brewed in the Pilsner-style in the entire world, King Cobra offers a truly unique taste. As such, not only is it much loved amongst curry fans, but it has a fairly sizeable fanbase in the brewery world, too.
The next time you’re dining with us at Purple Poppadom, why not treat yourself to a King Cobra beer if you have never had it before. It can add a lot to the palate and, before long, it might become a staple of your curry experiences!