How to Pair Beer and Food
Food and beer can be a delicious combination, but it is important to know the basics before starting. This way you can choose beers that will enhance your experience of both the meal and the drink.
Complementary flavors – The easiest way to pair beer and food is by bringing together similar flavor profiles. This is a great way to complement fish and salads with light beers or to match rich desserts with dark stouts.
Contrasting flavors – Another approach to pairing beer and food is to bring together flavors that are opposite or contrasting to one another. This is often more difficult to do, but it works well when trying to achieve balance between sweet and salty or bitter and sour.
Supplementary flavors – Sometimes flavors are combined to create something completely new. This is the idea behind pairing a cheeseburger with ketchup and bacon, for example.
It is also a good idea to consider the type of beer you’re drinking, as different beers have different flavor profiles and are suited to a variety of foods. For example, a fruit-based lager will pair nicely with a fruity dessert like pie or cobbler while a stout will work with a chocolate dessert, such as a brownie or cake.
Body & mouthfeel – The texture of a beer plays an important role in pairing it with food. High-ABV beers tend to have a heavier mouthfeel, while low-ABV beers will feel smoother.