With its many different varieties and flavors, beer is one of the most versatile drinks to pair with food. Similar to wine, beer can enhance the characteristics of the meal you are eating.
When you are faced with a long list of delicious beers to choose from, which one should you choose to pair with your dinner? There are no hard and fast rules, but here are a few tips to get you started!
The Basics of Beer Pairings
Now its best to start with what you like.
Think about the beers you generally like to drink on a regular basis and the qualities you look for. Do you prefer bold hoppy beers like IPA's, light bodied beers or wheat beers? Do you lean toward fruity or sweet notes instead of malty flavors? You can use these preferences to help you narrow down your options.
In general, beer pairings work well when you match the body of a beer to the body of a dish. For example, a hearty beef stew would pair nicely with a full-bodied beer like a brown ale like a stout, but a fish and chips platter would be better with a medium-bodied beer like a pale ale.
Think about the main ingredients or seasonings in your meal. You can opt for a beer that shares some of these flavors and will increase their potency. For example, a full flavored IPA would be a good match for increasing the kick of spicy chicken tacos.
It’s great to stick to what you know and like, but don’t be afraid to venture out and try something new every now and then. There is no right or wrong way to pair beer with food, so play with new combinations. You might be surprised by what your palate discovers!