The transatlantic beer trade would be boosted by a post-Brexit trade agreement between the UK and the US, guests at the annual Brewer's Association lunch in London were told last week.
The US Embassy's deputy chief of mission, Yael Lempert, highlighted opportunities for brewers from both nations at an event held at Yeni restaurant in London's Soho.
"The UK is already the second biggest international market for US beer after Canada, accounting for 16.6% of exports, and while US craft brewers will aim to grow that figure, there will also be a bigger stateside market for UK beer," said Lempert.
Guests were served a menu created by Civan Er, chef at Yeni, in collaboration with Adam Dulye, executive chef of US trade body the Brewers Association. The restaurant's acclaimed Turkish food was matched to American craft beer.
After starting with a spinach pastry matched to a hazy pale ale, the menu included a spicy lamb sucuk matched with an IPA and a bourbon vanilla brown ale, and a roasted lamb shank matched with both a porter and an Imperial stout.
Dessert was a raspberry baked Alaska served with a fruited sour ale, and a tart ale brewed with lemongrass and sea salt.
Dulye said that the range and variety of craft beer now available is helping to persuade chefs and restaurants in both the UK and the US to consider offering beer matches alongside wine, but he still sees plenty of headroom to develop beer matching further.
He said: "The unique approach to the menu for Yeni was using the same ingredient prepared in different ways, by taking lamb done both in a cured sausage as well as a braised form. Brewers use the same ingredients such as malt or hops but put them in different applications, therefore tying together the beer and culinary world."
Also at the lunch to talk informally to guests were Jeff Beagle, co-owner of Country Boy Brewing Co, Kentucky, and Jamil Zainasheff of Heretic Brewing Co of California.
• Match of the day: While all the beer matches were well chosen, the sweet flavours in Shotgun Wedding, the bourbon vanilla brown ale from Country Boy Brewing, contrasted beautifully with the spicy lamb sucuk.
John Porter, beer sommelier