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Beer and Food Pairing Tips

According to the Brewers Association, there are a few principles for matching great beer and food. Paying attention to the following tips will help make pairing beer and food easier. See also their chart.

Match flavor strengths: Bold flavored foods are best suited with strong beers and delicate dishes go well with fine light beers.

Complimentary combinations: Beer and food that share similar flavor and aromatic elements will naturally pair well.

Seasonality: During the warm months match light beers with light foods and in cold months full flavored beers with heartier meals.

Types of beer – Lager vs. Ale: Lager beer is pale, dry, light and refreshing and pairs week with white meats, fish, fried or spicy Latin and Asian dishes. Ales are robust, flavorful and higher in alcohol content. Ales pair well with hearty red meat dishes, wild game, sausage and stews.

Quick Tasting & Serving Suggestion Guide

Pilsner Lager

Taste: Amber colored, dry, crisp and flowery with some bitterness

Serve with: any kind of fish as well as  fried and spicy foods

Pale Lager

Taste: Mild and frothy

Serve with: Appetizers, Spicy Latin dishes or Asian cuisine

Dark Lager

Taste: Rich malty flavor and slightly sweet

Serve with: Grilled chicken and sausage dishes

Pale Ale

Taste: Dry and a little bitter with a hint of fruit

Serve with: Steak, prime rib or roast beef

Brown Ale

Taste: Copper colored ale full bodied, sweet and malty

Serve with: Red meat, wild game and sausage

Porter Ale

Taste: Malt and bittersweet chocolate flavor

Serve with: Hearty soup, stews or meats with dark sauces

Stout Ale

Taste: Darkest in color has a range of flavors from sweet to bitter almost burnt tasting and a distinct malt and caramel taste.

Serve with: Hearty stews, wild game or shellfish

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, here is a recipe from Bon Appetit

Irish Cheddar and Stout Fondue

  • 2 cups 1- to 1 1/2-inch-diameter red-skinned potatoes, halved
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups very small brussels sprouts
  • 2 apples, cored, cut into wedges
  • 1 pound Irish cheddar cheese, grated (my favorite is Dubliner Irish Cheddar)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (or more) Irish stout (such as Guinness)
  • 6 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Steam all vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes. Arrange vegetables and apples around edge of large platter.

Meanwhile, toss cheese with flour in large bowl. Bring 3/4 cup stout, juice concentrate, and mustard to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add cheese mixture, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and smooth, thinning with more stout, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer fondue to bowl. Place in center of platter with vegetables.

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One comment on “Beer and Food Pairing Tips

  1. john on said:

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    Best Saint Patrick’s Day Drink Recipes.

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