Windhoek: Beer Pairing At Its Finest

Windhoek and food
Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you love a good beer, then you will definitely appreciate a cold Windhoek any day of the week. The first time I wrote about the experience here and that experience still remains one of the best I have had while having beer, well that and Castle Lite.

However, if you think this is another article about beer you are wrong. Yes, beer is involved, Windhoek to be specific but this article is to help you enjoy the beer even more. You see for a long time the beer culture in Kenya has been about sitting in a pub, watching football and ordering a platter of nyama choma. It is everywhere, from pubs that sit alongside the highway where patrons are sheltered with metal sheets of roofing material or bamboo poles to the higher end pubs where you take in the views of pretty skylines while sipping slightly overpriced froth.

Windhoek is a premium beer. If you can recall, I swore on its distinctive flavor where the hops are a bit more distinct than your average beer but still remains demure sip after sip. With its taste profile this beer opens you up to trying something new, it gently nudges you out of your beer comfort zone and lets you feel bold enough to try new things – pairing.

It has not spared the drinker either. Whether you adorn khakis that stick to your thighs when you walk letting the soles of your Chelsea boot grace the ground or whether you have a hard time closing the buttons of a coat because your tummy has refused to go back in. The culture is older than Methuselah’s beard.

But when it comes to a beer like Windhoek, some cultures can be carefully put aside – you do not want to piss off the ancestors so you put it down gently with almost on your knees – and you can open yourself to new experiences. And here ladies, gentlemen and all beer lovers is where you open yourself up to the world of beer pairing.

Windhoek is a premium beer. If you can recall, I swore on its distinctive flavor where the hops are a bit more distinct than your average beer but still remains demure sip after sip. With its taste profile this beer opens you up to trying something new, it gently nudges you out of your beer comfort zone and lets you feel bold enough to try new things – pairing.

Here’s what I found out:

  1. Spicy Food

The bitterness from the hops and the light nature of Windhoek makes it perfect for spicy food. I would personally suggest a chicken masala curry. All you have to do is find yourself a good Indian restaurant. They are a couple of them peppered around Westlands that you can take a pick from. When you do settle in, order the curry and ask them to make it mild but if you are willing to be adventurous (we all know Indian food) go for medium. Personally I am a coward and work with mild which still burns like lava. When done with the food ask for two cold Windhoeks – one to baby sit the table as you wait for your food to arrive.  With the curry on the table, you will appreciate having the Windhoek by your side. The beer soothes the burn of the curry and cools your tongue as it washes down balls of fire. The bitterness is a welcome reprieve. If you went for the mild or hot, then guaranteed you will have more than one Windhoek which in my books is not such a bad thing.

  1. Burgers

It is like top three of things I like the most start with B. Beers, Burgers and Buns. I would pick a decent burger any day over a say a pizza. Burgers are messy and they force you to drop your guard down. They bring out the real you and that’s why I feel first dates should be over a beer and burgers. Pairing Windhoek with a burger (the cheesier the better) to me is combining three (hehe) things that I love, and trust me when I say this – you will not regret it. With its crispy aftertaste Windhoek has a way of complimenting the grilled taste of nicely charred patties while marrying into the freshness of soft bun remains in your mouth letting you enjoy every bite and leaving you eager for the next sip.

  1. Salads

If you rolled your eyes at this, then I need you to read that line again until you are not rolling them anymore. Forget what you’ve been told about salads – those meals can and are filling plus not to mention healthy. If you have to bend over double to see your belt buckle you should consider this. However, when having a salad, especially one with Vinaigrette dressing you will be surprised how well it goes with a Windhoek. But here’s the deal if you feel like you will lose street cred for ordering salad, I suggest you walk into one of those swanky places where waiters carry the tray in one hand and pour your drink at your behest. Your normal beer buddies will be nowhere close to there and should by some celestial coincidence show up just point at your Windhoek and say the salad was complimentary. They will be none the wiser.

So there you have it folks. Just like we are embracing a new normal I think it is about time you did to and let Windhoek take you on a culinary trip.

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