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Food Pairings for Popular Craft Beer Types

Beer Danielle Griscti

No matter how different our lives are, there are two things that bind us all together at the end of a long, hard week - food and drink. If we choose to go to restaurants or have friends over for dinner, this is likely to lead to food and beer but are we doing it right? As strange as it may sound, there are certain combinations of meals and beer that work better than others so let’s take a look so you can make the most of your experience!

Clean and Crisp - With this type of beer, we are talking about a Bohemian-style Pilsner or perhaps an American Amber Lager. With this, you should be looking to consume grains such as arborio or wild rice. Why? Because the hops are balanced by the grain flavors and the combination will remain light on your palate. For example, a creamy risotto would work perfectly for this.

Bitter - If you find yourself with a bitter and hoppy beer such as a Pale Ale, IPA or Brown Ale, try pairing it with game birds and grains once again. If you were to enjoy a delicious duck dish, the fats would neutralize the bitterness of the hop and allow you to enjoy both at the same time.

Fruity or Spicy - Perhaps you have gone for something adventurous like a Hefeweizen or Saison? If so, try and pair it with shellfish such as crab, scallops, clams, or even lobster. As well as cleansing the palate, the beer will actually bring out the natural sweetness of the two. If you enjoy mussels with garlic, your dish will become even more flavorsome.

Sweet and Malty - Once again, this could be a Hefeweizen or it could be an English Brown Ale but it needs something that will add richness to the drink. Above all else, this will come from legumes and beans such as green beans or chickpeas. If you have grilled halibut, for example, a side of pole beans will add the necessary richness whilst also balancing acidity and salt.

Sour or Tart - Sometimes, the mood calls for a funky type of beer such as a Flanders or American Brett and this goes well with meats and root vegetables which makes it perfect for the end-of-week roast. Once you combine this type of beer with root vegetables and beef or lamb, the umami will be activated and the earthy qualities will be brought forward.

Barley Wine or Fruit Lambic - Of course, you also need to know how you can make the most of your creamy desserts and this is exactly how. Whether it is a mousse cake, cheesecake, or plain ice cream, they can all finish with a rather sickly taste but this can be prevented with these varieties of drink.

Roast and Dark - In truth, this is an open flavor and allows you to experiment a little. On a basic level, cheese will go well with Pale Ale or Tripel because the flavors compliment one another and it also helps to cut through the fat. However, a Dry Stout or Schwarzbier can be balanced with grilled vegetables. Furthermore, a Brown Porter is perfect for the fats found in dairy, olive oil, butter, and more.

There we have it, a superb guide to food when you have a beer by your side. Whether you are in a restaurant or cooking for friends, why not allow your palate and theirs a unique experience by using the tips above? Not only will your food taste great, the beer will go down with ease and a good time can be had by all!

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