Beer and food have been enjoyed together for as long as beer has been around. This grain-based beverage makes it a food in and of itself, and the huge range of flavors, aromas and textures makes it a perfect match with nearly any kind of food. We have some suggestions on how you can easily match beers and foods that enhance one another.
For great beer and food pairings, several things must be considered. Below are some of the more important things to keep in mind:
- Contrast: To make an ideal pairing by contrast, you want to pick either a beer or a dish that has strong, dominant flavor, such as sweet, rich, or oily.
- Complement: Complementing flavors is the simplest way to make a delicious food and beer pairing. Match rich foods with beers that have a heavy, rich flavor, like stouts or porters.
- Cleanse: You can always use beer as a palate cleanser. This type of beer pairing is idea for dishes that have strong overpowering flavors.
- Avoid Overpowering Flavors: Keep in mind the levels of flavor in your food and beer. Some rich and flavorful beers can overpower certain types of foods.
Below is a guide you can reference to get an idea for beer and food pairings, these are general pairing suggestions. You can always create your own new and unique beer and food pairing.
- Light lagers: Spicy food, burgers, salads
- Wheat beers: Spicy food and fruity desserts
- India pale ales (IPAs): Steak, barbecue, and Mexican food
- Amber ales: Pizza, fried food, smoked pork
- Dark lagers: Pizza, burgers, hearty stews
- Brown ales: Sausage, sushi, fish
- Porters: Seafood, coffee-flavored desserts, game meats
- Stouts: Chocolate desserts, shellfish, Mexican food
For more Beer & Food pairing ideas, check out this Beer & Food Pairing Chart from The Brewers Association.