MICHELIN star chef Martin Wishart has joined forces with brewer Molson Coors to create a menu exclusively for Scottish pubs.
The seasonal dishes – three starters, three mains and three desserts – have been designed to complement beers in Coors’ portfolio, which include Blue Moon, Singha, Grolsch, Animee, Cobra and Doom Bar.
The partnership comes after research by Coors last year showed although half of pubs offer food, just one in ten Scots regularly eats in the pub.
Wishart, whose eponymous restaurants in Leith and at Cameron House on Loch Lomond each hold a Michelin star, said the menu aims to help licensees grow food and beer sales and attract new customers to their outlets.
“It’s an area of the industry that’s of interest to me – I eat in pubs with my family and it’s an important part of the hospitality industry,” he told SLTN.
“There are many good pubs serving good food in Scotland but I think some publicans do need a little bit of support to show them that using local and seasonal produce is not only affordable, it can help bring in new customers.
“The dishes are all costed and return a healthy profit.
“Matching food and beer also gives the publican a whole new area of marketing and, from a chef’s point of view, it’s very interesting.
“When you taste Blue Moon, for example, you get a hint of orange so we’ve matched that with a white chocolate and mandarin tart; and we’ve put Grolsch with a venison casserole. Grolsch needs something robust and venison would usually go with a heavy red wine so the two go well together.”
Despite his Michelin star status, Wishart insists the dishes are easy to make.
“There’s no need for anything other than a half-decent pan, knives and boards,” he said.
“There’s no need for specialised blenders or anything like that. Most of the dishes have three main ingredients on the plate; it’s simple tasty comfort food.”
Phil Whitehead, managing director of Molson Coors Scotland, said the dishes, which are available on the Molson Coors Direct website, showcase beer as the “perfect accompaniment” to food.
“Food is absolutely vital to the pub trade and this menu is part of our effort to help our customers and pubs across Scotland make the most of the opportunity,” he said.
“With money tight, the public is looking for affordable, everyday treats and pub food is very much one of these.”