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How to Pair Beer and Food

Beer and food are like two sides of the same coin: they can compliment each other if you understand how to pair them. It is a matter of understanding how each type of beer varies in color, taste and mouthfeel, as well as the ingredients that go into it.

Beer is a beverage that can be enjoyed year-round in New York City, with industrial taprooms and rooftop bars throughout the five boroughs. Its popularity continues to grow, and more breweries are opening up all over the city.

There is a plethora of styles and characteristics that make beer unique, with flavors ranging from the traditional malted barley and hops to unfiltered, hazy, thick, syrupy and funky. But one thing that ties all these flavors together is the effervescence, which is created naturally through the brewing process.

Matching beer to food involves a similar concept of pairing flavors, as you do with wine. You want to choose a beer that will complement the flavor of the dish, rather than overwhelm it.

Brown ales, for example, are not as bitter or hoppy as other medium-colored beers and often have hints of chocolate or coffee that can go well with many foods.

Pizza and beer is a classic pairing that requires a beer that can cut through the fatty cheese and stand up to the acidity of the tomato without overwhelming it. Belgian- and German-style wheat beers, sweet stouts and ales, pilsners and lagers are all good options for this pairing.

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