When thinking about pairing food with beer, we usually think of beer and chicken wings. With the craft beer scene expanding there are tons of different flavors of craft beer, leading us to find winning food and beer pairings in every corner. To make things less difficult we’ve put together a guide of recommended food pairings. Experiment around: the possibilities are endless.
Pilsners are golden in color with a simple, light grain flavor and a refreshing finish. This beer pairs best with American cheese, Munster, Havarti and Monterey Jack cheese. For lunch or dinner, pair it with any salad topped with Salmon or Tuna. If you’re looking for something with a kick, try spicy Mexican food.
Wheat beers (also known as Hefeweizen) are crisp, refreshing, highly carbonated and sometimes come in fruity flavors. Wheat beers tend to pair really well with light soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, sushi, sweet Asian food and desserts. Gruyere, feta and goat cheese are this beer’s go-to cheese picks.
Pale ales tend to be fairly hoppy and malty, depending where they are coming from. Pale ales from America are lighter and sometimes have fruity aromas, where English pale ales are spicier and have a strong hoppy flavor. When pairing pale ales with food lean towards meats such as pork, lamb, steak or turkey. Pale ales also go great with Tex-Mex and spicy foods.
Lagers can range from having a medium to high hop flavor with a smooth finish. These crisp and refreshing beers are paired best with shellfish, light seafood, grilled pork, chicken, Asian food, Mexican food and spicy dishes. Lagers also pair well with pasta dishes that are served without cream or meat sauces.
India pale ales are known for their bitter flavor and strong aroma of citrus or pine. There are a few different styles of IPA produced, but they usually all pair best with salty foods, burgers, steaks and desserts, along with Indian and Mexican food.
Stouts are a dark beer with a rich and creamy head. These beers usually have a strong chocolate, oatmeal and coffee-flavored undertones. Stouts pair best with roasted or smoked foods, BBQ, rich stews, oysters and chocolate desserts.
Porters are dark in color and brewed with a combination of roasted malts to give it that dark color and strong aroma. Many breweries have made their own version of the traditional porter; milk porters, spiced porters, oatmeal porters, etc. Porters pair best with smoked foods, BBQ sausage, rich stews, chili, meats and braised dishes.
By Alyssa Brady, Staff Writer