Onto California and beyond...
Three Weavers Brewing, from California, whose Seafarers Kölsch is a true thing of beauty, brought over their Knotty IPA. This was paired with a whole wild turbot that had been grilled in a wood fired oven. The beer's carbonation scrubbed our palates clean. What was left was the beer's lighter fruity hop flavours floating over the meaty but delicately flavoured fish.
Next up we had Enlightened Despot, a hefty barrel-aged stout from Virginia's Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery. This was deftly set against a dish of moorland beef, potatoes roasted over hay, and tomatoes simply prepared with salt and olive oil. The beef was salty and caramelised on the outside, rare and gamey inside, and served with its fat still intact to give a rich and unctuous texture that stood up to the beer perfectly. Eyes rolled skywards with the first bite. Conversation was instantly refocused. Beer and food can be that good, every bit as much as wine can.
We ended on a pairing of burnt cheesecake with peaches and Meadoweisse, a sour Berliner Weisse from West Sixth Brewing in Kentucky. The combination was bright and light, with the dry sweetness of the cheesecake balancing out and grounding the beer, muting its sour bite and allowing its citrus notes to come through. These were lifted by the peach and the slightly tart sour cream garnish, making a refreshing end to an excellent meal.
You can look out for these and other US beers arriving in the UK thanks to the BA's export development programme. And if you're quick you can also catch some of them pouring at the Great British Beer Festival in Olympia until Saturday.
Want to know more about beer? Here's Anthony's guide to talking intelligently about beer and his piece on how to find a beer you will like. Want to do a beer tour in the UK? Here are some of the best, according to Anthony.