Two Wives Brewery – Bellarine Estate Wines, Portarlington – Ginga Beer paired with salt, pepper, ginger, chili calamari

My mate and I went for a random road trip down the coast the other day. I’ve been wanting to check out Bellarine Estate Wines on the Bellarine Peninsula for a while now. They have superb wines and incredible beer. We got there about half an hour to forty five minutes before closing, ordered a tasting paddle of their brews and sat out in the sun under their big umbrellas that overlook Port Phillip Bay on one side and their vineyard on the other. We both got fixated on their Two Wives Ginga Beer. It was sweet, spicy, not overly carbonated, creamy yet still really light and summery, unlike any ginger beer my friend and I had ever had. I asked the guy behind the bar what to put it with, food wise and after some thought he said Asian and seafood, which is where I came up with the idea to pair this with salt and pepper, ginger, chili calamari. This brew comes in 500mL long necks. Good Bottle-O’s around Victoria will stock it. The Duncan’s around the corner from me regularly has them in. Alternatively, go out there and pick up some for yourself. It’s a stunning winery and worth the drive. They do lunches, wine and beer tastings and  live music on Sundays. Their Ginga Beer goes for $8 a bottle at the cellar door and is a stellar drop. Bottoms up.

This is a super easy lunch or tea. Perfect for weekend drinking.

You’ll need:

  • 2 (or more) tubes, cleaned and cut into thin rings or strips (you can find good quality, pre-cleaned calamari tubes in any good fish mongers – saves you stuffing around with removing beaks and heads and backbones and all that messy stuff)
  • a handful of flour in a bowl mixed with a generous sprinkle of salt and cracked pepper
  • 1 chopped chili, a piece of fresh, grated ginger and a clove or 2 of garlic (if garlic is starting to shoot, remove shoot and use the rest, as the shoot will make your mix taste bitter) pounded in a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt
  • cleaned and separated bok choy leaves to serve
  • vegetable oil for frying


  1. make a bed of bok choy leaves in a large serving bowl
  2. heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat
  3. dredge squid in salt-pepper flour
  4. Turn heat up to high and drop squid pieces into hot oil and fry for a few minutes until flesh no longer looks translucent. (3 minutes or so – taste test a piece – it should be whitish inside but still tender)
  5. place squid over bok choy and mix a tsp or two of your chili mix. The residual heat will wilt the leaves and make the whole dish sweet and tasty.
  6. serve with a bottle of cold Two Wives Ginga Beer ( a bottle per person).
  7. Happy Days

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