Beer and Food Pairings
Beer is the perfect drink to complement any meal, from appetizers to dessert. But knowing what foods pair best with your favorite brew can be a bit tricky. Open up any restaurant menu, and you’ll find that certain beers go well with a wide variety of dishes. While some may be a bit surprising (a rich chocolate stout with oysters, for example), you might be surprised to learn that a pilsner goes nicely with fried chicken, hefeweizen with mussels, or an IPA with spicy fish or meat dishes.
This is all due to the wide range of flavors found in the beverage, from a dry and bitter hops flavor to subtle notes of yeast, spices, and even fruit. Many of these flavors can also be enhanced with the use of added ingredients, making for a truly versatile beverage. For instance, if your food has a hint of coriander, pair it with a Belgian Witbier, which is actually brewed with the spice.
This is one of the easiest pairings to make, and is generally a good idea for most beers and food. You want the beer to enhance and add to the flavors of the dish without overwhelming it. For this, look for complementary aromas and flavors in both the food and the beer. For instance, a seafood dish that has a hint of citrus would pair well with a hefeweizen or a Belgian blonde ale. Fatty fish, like sablefish or tuna, pairs nicely with a heavier, darker stout.