In the past, pairing a drink to your food would mean you’d be picking out a wine to go with your meal. Now, though, beer is becoming much more popular, and fans are finding that it’s much easier to match it with food. After all, wine only has one ingredient, grapes. Beer has a variety of ingredients that can interact with different foods, creating much more complex flavors.
This guide will help you find the perfect beer to go with your favorite foods, or the right dish to go with your go to beer.
Rich meats and root vegetables
Example dish: Grilled ribeye and root vegetables
Beer type: Sour or tart beer, such as American Brett or Belgian Style Flanders
Combining these flavors brings out the earthy notes of both, balancing them on the center of the palate.
Game birds and grains
Example dish: Roasted Quail with Farrotto
Beer type: Hoppy and bitter, such as American pale ale or American brown ale
The beers complement the roasted flavors, while the fat cuts the hoppiness of them.
Example dish: Brie and fruit
Beer type: Belgian Style Tripel or English style pale ale
Beer complements the natural flavors and textures, while cutting through the fat to cleanse the palate.
Example dish: Green chili stuffed portobello
Beer type: Dark and roasty, such as Irish style dry stout.
This combination brings out umami and balances sweetness and richness.
Example dish: Mussels with garlic, parsley and butter
Beer type: Fruity and spicy, such as Belgian style saison or German style Hefeweizen
Beer brings out sweetness and natural salinity whilst cleansing the palate.
Example dish: Creamy risotto
Beer type: Clean and crisp, such as American amber lager or Bohemian style pilsner
The grain flavors complement each other, whilst cleansing the palate and balancing the hop flavors.
Beans and legumes
Example dish: Grilled halibut with pole beans
Beer type: Malty and sweet, such as English style brown ale and German style Hefeweizen
The food adds a richness to the beer, while balancing salt and acidity.
Example dish: Cashew butter and red pepper jelly on toast
Beer type: Hoppy and bitter, such as American black ale, or dark and roasty, such as English style brown porter.
Beer cuts through, balancing strong flavors and allows for a complex finish.
Braised meats and chocolates
Example dish: Milk chocolate bread pudding
Beer type: Malty and sweet, such as German style bock, or dark and roasty, such as Baltic style porter
Creates a Maillard reaction, where it highlights the roasted character of the dish.
Example dish: Pork chops and apple relish
Beer type: Hoppy and bitter, such as Imperial India pale ale, or fruity and sweet, such as a Belgian style dubbel.
The intensity of the pork fat stands up the strong characteristics of the beer.
Now you have the basics down, you can try experimenting with different combinations of beer and food. Try them out and tell us what you think.[Image Credit]