First up is one for the cider fans with Sweden versus Ireland. The ever popular Kopparberg Pear with its sweet and fruity flavour and high carbonation level matches well with spicy Asian food or sweeter baked foods. For Ireland I’ll look to the excellent Stonewell Medium-dry cider. Its milder effervescence, fuller body and crisp finish makes this so easy to drink and matches well with chesses like Brie or Camembert.
For Belgium versus Ireland I’ll turn to Saison. This Belgian farmhouse style ale with slightly yeasty and balanced spicy and fruity flavour is one to savour. These are bold flavoursome beers but the high carbonation also refreshes the palate. A classic food match for saison is smoked or cured meats. The rich and complex Saison Dupont is the template for modern Belgian saison. From Ireland Third Circle Saison is no less delicious but a bit more approachable and sessionable with its fruity flavours and thirst quenching finish.
Finishing up with Italy versus Ireland. Here I have gone with one of the most popular and sessionable beer styles: Pale lager. Birra Moretti with its slightly wheaty character, light body and crisp finish is a classic Italian lager brewed since 1859. From Ireland you should try the Long Arm Dortmunder Export from Boyne Brewhouse. This beer has a great balance between malt and hops with a smooth body and touch of biscuity malt while remaining fresh and crisp with Saaz hops lending a slightly spicy note to the finish. Both are a great match for salty or fried foods.