If you live in Sydney and have not yet visited Frenchies Bistro & Brewery in Rosebery, be sure to put it on your list.
Owned by two friends, head brewer Vincent de Soyres and head chef Thomas Cauquil, the two French expats combine their talents to serve up good beer and good food in a friendly social setting.
We’re big fans of their craft beers. You can shop many of them on Craft Cartel including Astrolabe from their Biere de Garde range.
We recently caught up with Thomas to find out about the art of food and beer matching and what one can expect at a Frenchies Feast!
What is your number one tip when it comes to pairing beer with food?
There are two ways of doing a nice pairing; either you decide to go for the same type of flavours between the beer and the dish, or you try to do a contrast matching where you create an enhancing balance between the beer and the flavours of the dish. Because we have a seasonal menu that evolves every day we usually match the beers according to the dishes that we have on at the time and not the other way around.
What can guests expect at a Frenchies Feast?
On a Thursday night we host the Frenchies Feast. We serve lots of different dishes to share showcasing some of our homemade charcuterie, smoked salmons, and other entrees. We then have a masterpiece main that can be a whole suckling pig stuffed and roasted, or whole fish baked in a salt crust with different seasonal garnishes. And for a sweet treat we serve a wide selection of different desserts to share.
For each course we match two of our beers that guests can enjoy as much as they request! This is a perfect friendly event to enjoy in small or large groups (up to 20 people) for only $95pp.
For a full experience the brewer also gives a tour of the brewery at 6:30pm just before dinner starts. It provides an opportunity for guests to gain an insight into how our beer is made!
Old world hops star in quite a few of your beers, why do you like working with some of these more obscure varieties?
Because we come from the old world and it gives a special character to our beers. They all have been bred from noble hops which gives them very refined characteristics.
Tell us about your bière de garde range?
It’s actually the signature range of the brewer. It’s a style from northern France, delivering very rich and complex beers. They have the same type of complexity as wine, giving a very interesting profile to be matching with food. When some Belgian or Northern French beers can sometimes feel quite sweet and heavy, all the sugar is fermented in the biere de garde. It gives these type of beers a very dry finish, allowing a very sessionable beer besides its strong maltiness complexity.
What type of food would you recommend serving with Astrolabe?
The Astrolabe is a very malty beer with toasted caramel notes. It’s a great match with rich wintery food such as beef stew, roasted meats, seasonal mushrooms, and bitter or spicy chocolate for dessert. The dry finish of this beer will cut through the richness of this type of food, perfectly complementing your dining experience.
You met Vincent at a Paris hospitality school back in 2005, what is it like starting a business with a friend?
It actually makes it very easy! We’ve known each other for a long time now, and we know how to complement each others strengths and weaknesses. Being able to rely on someone you fully trust when you start a business is a real luxury. We both have our own side of the business where we best master our skills. But at the same time we keep it very open, so we can discuss together our vision of each others’ work, creating a strong emulation to work together towards success.
Any upcoming seasonal releases we should keep an eye out for?
Blanche is our witbier, spicy and very easy drinking, no doubt it will be a huge success throughout winter. W.H.I.S.P.A for wet hop Indian session pale ale is a beer specially brewed with fresh hops for the Fresh Hops Festival. It will take place at The Cannery, the precinct we call home in Rosebery, this Saturday 21st of April along 10 other craft-breweries from NSW.