Beer is undergoing a resurgence based on its food-matching ability.
And there's nothing quite like a cold beer on a hot day. As I'm such a wine dude, I tend not to have beer with food, but I do like a beer with a whisky chaser.
Scotch whisky is big business, with £4 billion export sales. In fact, we're sending so much whisky to China and South America at the moment that some experts are saying in a few years time, there won't be enough left for us. I, for one, intend to stockpile.
This week I'm being very self-indulgent by looking at my favourite style of single malt, the lightly peaty dram. The peatiness of malts is measured in parts per million (ppm) with 45-50 ppm being very high.
My wife Laura is a huge fan of fully flavoured peaty malts, especially such treats as Ardbeg, Lagavulin Pedro Ximinez and Longrow. I prefer a more gentle malt, something with an approachable sweetness coupled with a smoky edge (around 25-30 ppm).
Here are three under £30 to try. Old Pulteney 12-year-old (Tesco, £29). Hailing from Wick, Old Pulteney is known as the maritime malt due to the distinct taste of rock salt on the palate. It's a very fresh dram, and lightly peaty.
Ardmore Traditional Cask (Inverarity One to One, £24.99). The Ardmore is a peated Speyside, one of my favourite drinks in the world. The first notes on the palate are toffee and orange oil, followed by a wonderfully warming edge of peat.
Bunnahabhain 12-year-old (Sainsbury's, £28.99). This is the gentle giant of Islay and the perfect after-dinner dram. Slainte.