Pair London 2017

This June, Tottenham’s Affinity Brew Co. will host the capital’s newest beer and food festival, Pair London. The event will take place at new music and events space Five Miles London (also home to Affinity’s brewery in a shipping container), and will see five breweries partnered with five purveyors of scrumptious scran. Joining Affinity are Brick Brewery, Elusive Brewing, Howling Hops and Weird Beard, each of which will collaborate with a food partner on five beers to be paired with five plates. The providers of solid sustenance are Craving Coffee, Pedler, Stansted Farm Shop, Bernsteins and Howard’s Meat Co., and are all partnered with neighbouring breweries.

Regarding the beers, Ben from Affinity told me that they are very much at the recipe development stage, and somewhat turning convention on its head, stated that they will be created first and will then inform the composition of the dishes. There will be two sittings each lasting three hours, with just 100 places available at each followed by a piss-up in (a venue adjacent to) a brewery till late. The venue, described by Ben as a ‘pod’ within a ‘fucking big warehouse’ has me intrigued, sounding part-futuristic space gaff/part industrial Tottenham chic. Due to open next month and featuring an entire wall of speakers (I’m going to call it ‘The Wall of Sound’), Five Miles has secured a late licence and sounds like it’ll be a great addition to Tottenham’s increasingly dynamic nightlife. 

It’s clear that both Ben and Affinity co-founder Steve are passionate about the cause of beer and food; in fact Steve told me that the desire to put on an event of this kind even predates their plans for the brewery. What makes it even more special is that the breweries they’re working with are also their friends, and camaraderie seems central to Affinity’s ethos. While wine has historically been the go-to libation when it comes to food pairing, it’s clear that beer has made strides in recent years in taking its rightful place at the dining table. Hell, even someone like me who was raised on frozen ready meals and Instant Whip is now known to knock out Northern Star Mocha Porter chilli, and pair apricot and goats’ cheese salad with Cantillon Fou’ Foune. In London, we are seeing more and more restaurants treat beer with the respect, nay, reverence it deserves, and we even have the likes of Beef & Brew, Booma Brixton and Nanban giving beer pride of place. How great that hitherto unloved Tottenham is to host such a festival, further celebrating the union between beer and food. Plus, it’s going to be a big fucking party – that’s the real takeaway here.

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