While food and wine pairing is a well-established art, beer has yet to generate a similar body of savoir-faire.

It’s catching up though as drinks writers highlight its compatibility with food and suggest recipes that go way beyond the obvious Flemish carbonnade of beef. Spritzy sour wheat beer adds a lime-like freshness to fish ceviche we’re told, while coffee stouts do wonders for caramel and banana puddings. A malty Trappist Tripel is just the job for rich cheeses because it cleanses the palate and cuts through the fat.

If you only take into consideration the beer side of the proposition, you’ll probably have a blast at Innis & Gunn’s kitchen in Glasgow’s Ashton Lane. You can taste your way through the vocabulary of the craft beer world: lagers, IPAs, barrel aged, flavoured, limited editions and figure out if your taste is more malty-sweet, dark and roasted, or hoppy and bitter. As a beer amateur, I’m lapping up the education, quite captivated by our four-beer ‘flight’ and the free samples that our well-informed server brings to help us make our selection. We choose the Ashton pale ale with its elderflower nose and bitter finish, the Original ale with its candied clementine character, which when aged in rum barrels, becomes dark and raisiny, moving on to the sweeter banana bread beer, a dead ringer for those old sweetie shop banana chews, and finally sample the gingerbread ale, which smells uncannily like poking your nose in a treacle-scented cake tin.

So it’s a pity that the food side of the operation doesn’t keep up with all this excitement and variety. This play-safe menu seems to belong to the school of thought that pub food should be hearty, filling, and very familiar: fish and chips, burgers, hotdog, curry, steak. Our nibbles are the most interesting course: about half a loaf of really good sourdough bread toasted on the grill comes with hop-infused oil and Innis & Gunn’s own beer balsamic vinegar. We can’t taste the hops, and the vinegar would benefit from further aging to concentrate it, but this plateful still dangles the hope of exciting things to come. Chicken liver pate, however, is greenish-grey and grainy. It cries out for- dare I say it?- Cognac. Bizarrely, it comes with a flaccid Yorkshire pudding, a few standard salad leaves, and Blood Red Sky chutney, a beery version of very rough-cut orange more suited to being served as a marmalade. The logic of this jarring assembly escapes me. It’s easier to like the warm, runny-yolked, free-range duck egg nestling cosily in its jacket of Innis & Gunn Original sausage, but it’s hard to taste the house brown sauce that comes with it because it’s squirted in fussy zigzags so there’s not enough of it to form an impression.

For £12.50, I feel short-changed by the ‘Rod Stewart’ described as a ‘classic shepherd’s pie topped with barrel-smoked Mull cheddar mash. It’s a small portion and the super-salty mince is top-heavy with dry potatoes that are just roughly crushed, not mashed. There’s no perceptible presence of cheese either, just rocket leaves wilting pathetically on top of its steamy surface. The hard, dry broccoli that accompanies it seems to have been fleetingly dunked in boiling water then been left sitting too long under a heat lamp.

I’m glad we’ve chosen only one dessert. Perversely the ‘seasonal’ fruit tart at the tail end of winter is raspberry, a flat, thin Bakewell-type offering with a gluey, jam-like filling that tastes and smells like scented candles. I’m not convinced that the pastry is made with butter. The ghost of Mr Kipling haunts the plate.

This is the second Innis & Gunn beer kitchen I have visited and on both occasions the food side of the venture has struck me as boringly conservative, crude, and puzzlingly deaf to the food matching opportunities and culinary potential presented by its beers. Maybe you just can’t expect beery enterprises to take food seriously. Maybe beer drinkers still only want something to fill their bellies. Please convince me otherwise.