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An Appetite for Ale


Fiona Beckett & Will Beckett

Scarcely does a week pass without some brewery or PR agency sending me their latest take on the beer and food craze. But is it a craze? Or is it something far more logical and enduring? That’s the way Fiona Beckett and her publican son, Will, would have it.

Fiona is better known as a wine writer and has made a name for herself as an expert matcher of wine with food. Her venture into the beer world is welcome and builds on work done in the past by Susan Nowak, Lucy Saunders, Garrett Oliver and Richard Fox in getting beer back on the dining table.

An Appetite for Ale is a sort of hybrid book. It merges the idea of serving beer with food with cooking with beer. Expect a good number of recipes (not all beer inclusive), patiently described, blended in with the pages that explore the basics of beer and food matching.

An authentic Bavarian potato salad – you’ll know what it’s like if you’ve ever been to Munich – to scoff with an authentic helles or weissbier, is one option; another is a beer and cheese fondue to wash down with a dark lager.

The test of a good cookbook, I believe, is not how well the recipes work (they absolutely never work for me, whatever the book), but how glorious the dishes appear in the full-colour spreads. It’s inspiration rather than instruction, I always think, and on that basis this book certainly did give me An Appetite for Ale.

First edition (2007)

192-page hardback


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