Pairing Beer with Food – A Brief How To Guide

Wine and food pairings are nothing new. There are hundreds of years' worth of study behind these pairings. However, beer shouldn't be left out of the meal planning. In fact, you'll find that there are tons of different dishes that pair well with different brews. The secret lies in knowing what types of foods different brews pair best with. Here are some simple guidelines to get you started pairing brews with meals.

Pale Ale

Pale ales pair with almost anything, from chicken to pork to fish and hamburgers. You'll find that they also pair quite well with English cheddar cheese and even some deserts, like maple bread pudding and pumpkin flan.

Double IPA

Double IPAs need something a bit more substantive for their pairings. You'll find that they go well with country-fried steak and mashed potatoes, as well as with smoked beef brisket. They also pair very well with super sweet desserts, like caramel cheesecake.

Porter

Porter is a hearty brew and is best served with roasted or smoked foods. Sausage and blackened fish are both good options here, and porter also pairs well with different desserts, like chocolate peanut butter cookies.

Hefeweizen

If you'll be enjoying the full body found in a hefeweizen, you can pair it with seafood, weisswurst, and even many different salads. For desserts, you'll be able to pair this beer style with light options, like key lime pie or strawberry shortcake.

Brown Ale

Brown ale pairs well with meals like roast pork or grilled salmon – foods with plenty of heartiness to offset the beer. Pear fritters or cashew brittle are two of the dessert types that go well with this brew, though there are others as well.

Amber Lager

Amber lagers pair well with spicy foods with plenty of heartiness to them. Barbeque is a good option here, as are specialty burgers and chili. Spice cake is a good dessert pairing for amber lager.

Wheat Ale

Wheat ales pair well with many different foods, but they tend to be lighter fare. For instance, you can pair this beer with salad or vegetable dishes quite easily. In addition, they go well with fruit soups as a dessert.

These are only a few of the possible pairings out there. What are your favorite beer and food pairings? What combinations best satisfy your personal palate and help complete your meals? Start pairing today, you’ll be amazed at just how much the flavor profile of the food and beer changes with different combinations.

Posted on July 1, 2010 and filed under Facts & History.